12 March 2013
The European Parliament today approved the Commission’s draft regulation for an EU-wide venture capital passport. The Commission’s response welcoming the Parliament’s approval is here. Excerpt:
“Next steps: After the vote in the European Parliament, the Council is expected to adopt both Regulations on 21 March. Both Regulations will then enter into force 20 days after their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union which is estimated to be before the summer.”
The Commission’s page on the proposed passport is here.
More on the VC passport here.
19 February 2013
Centre Forum, a think-tank with links to the Coalition Government and to business, published last week a report titled “The path to IPO: funding SME jobs and growth”, which makes a series of (familiar) recommendations on how SMEs may be encouraged to access capital via the equity markets.
The report is here (summary of recommendations on page 7) and the accompanying press release is here.
19 February 2013
The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has this month published a good summary document of the various Government schemes designed to assist SMEs in raising finance. Schemes covered (with links in the document to further information in each case) include:
- Enterprise Finance Guarantee
- Business Finance Partnership
- Start-up loans
- Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme
- Enterprise Investment Scheme
- Business Angel Co-Investment Fund
- Enterprise Capital Funds
- UK Innovation Investment Fund.
UK Trade & Investment, UK Export Finance, the Regional Growth Fund and the Business Banks are also covered.
13 February 2013
This morning London Stock Exchange announced its new “High Growth Segment” of the Main Market. The HGS is aimed at fast-growing companies aspiring to be included in the Premium Segment of the UKLA’s Official List. In the words of the Exchange:
“Market feedback from investors, sell side participants and the venture capital community confirms there are a significant number of UK and European businesses with ambitious development plans that are currently under-represented on the equity markets. This segment is part of the solution – it will provide greater choice for companies seeking capital and investors seeking growth opportunities.”
The HGS will be a segment of the EU’s EU regulated market and so the EU financial services directives (including the Prospectus Directive) will apply. The HGS will not be part of the Official List, with the Exchange explicitly designing the HGS as a “transitional route” to the Official List.
Key issuer eligibility criteria are:
read more »
21 January 2013
Published today. From the abstract:
“We examine the determinants of successful exits in European venture capital transactions and compare them to US transactions. Using survival analysis, we show that for both regions the probability of exit via an initial public offering (IPO) has gone down significantly over the last decade, while the time to IPO has gone up – in contrast, the probability of exit via trade sales and the average time to trade sales do not change much over time. Contrary to perceived wisdom, there is no difference in the success rates of European and US deals from the same vintage year with respect to IPO exits, while Europe has about an eight percentage point lower probability of exit via trade sales than the US. Venture success has the same determinants in both Europe and US, with more experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists being associated with higher probabilities of exit. The fact that repeat or ‘serial’ entrepreneurs are less common in Europe and that European VCs lag US VCs in terms of experience explains the remaining difference in performance. Finally, and contrary to perceived wisdom, we find no evidence of a stigma of failure for entrepreneurs in Europe.”
14 December 2012
“For the Regulations to enter into force, the formal approval by the Council and the European Parliament is still needed. It is expected that the decision by the Council will follow the plenary vote in the European Parliament in early 2013.”
See also: A venture capital passport: European Commission proposal
11 December 2012
Undated, published November 2012. Covers:
- The pre-investment phase
- The ownership phase
- The exit phase
- Summary of key ESG risks and opportunities.
See also: EVCA launches Handbook of Professional Standards
10 December 2012
FT review of Bill Janeway’s book “Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy”:
read more »
4 December 2012
BIS has today published its response to the consultation which it launched on 18 October 2012 on its proposed new “employee owner status”, under which employees would sacrifice some employee rights in exchange for CGT-advantaged shares in their employer. We covered the consultation launch in this post.
The consultation response is here.
From the executive summary of the consultation response:
read more »
28 November 2012
The European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association launched its “Handbook of Professional Standards” on 15 November 2012. A press release is here and the Handbook can be accessed here.
read more »
23 November 2012
Chris Dixon, Shoehorning startups into the VC model
“A startup should raise venture capital (or “venture-style” angel/seed funding) only if: 1) the goal is to build a billion-dollar (valuation) company, and 2) raising millions of dollars is absolutely necessary or will significantly accelerate growth.
There are lots of tech companies that are very successful but don’t fit the VC model. If they don’t raise VC, the founders can make money, create jobs, and work on something they love. If they raise VC, a wide range of outcomes that would otherwise be good become bad.”
The comments are also worth reading.
24 October 2012
A good survey from the New York Times here.
“London’s fast-growing start-up scene is trying to disrupt the financial status quo. As consumers’ trust in banks deteriorates because of a series of recent scandals, young companies are pressing their newcomer advantage. Firms are offering services like low-cost foreign currency exchange and new ways for small business to borrow cash.
Backed by venture capital firms like Index Ventures, the financial start-ups are taking on entrenched incumbents by using technology to pare back costs and improve the customer experience.”
See also: Venture capital and tech: government investment, not VC managers, is what matters
21 October 2012
Government press release here. More here from TechCrunch. Tech City is an Government project to support the growth of the tech cluster in East London.
18 October 2012
The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has today published its consultation on implementing the Government’s proposed new “employee owner status”, under which employees would sacrifice some employee rights in exchange for CGT-advantaged shares in their employer. The BIS press release is here and the consultation document is here (pdf).
Amongst the many thought-provoking aspects of the consultation document is a suggestion is that the Companies Act 2006 rules on share buy-backs might be relaxed after consultation (page 18):
read more »
1 October 2012
From the New York Times, Wilson Sonsini Retools Strategy to Land Internet Start-Ups:
“…reflects the firm’s evolving mind-set as lawyers jockey for the attention of start-ups. In an effort to build credibility among new technology companies, Wilson Sonsini and others are employing a broad set of tools, including offering free services, cozying up to incubators and writing blogs.
Such efforts are critical. While early-stage ventures represent just 20 percent of the firm’s business, those companies can generate hefty fees as they mature. Wilson Sonsini and other firms also make small investments in young start-ups, which can pay off in later years.
“Small deals would not have interested these firms a few years ago,” said Joseph A. Grundfest, a Stanford law professor. “Now, it’s the new normal.”
For years, Wilson Sonsini dominated Silicon Valley, shepherding young technology companies like Apple, Netscape Communications and even the ill-fated Webvan. In 1998, Lawrence W. Sonsini, the firm’s patriarch, introduced two Stanford graduate students to Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, two top venture capital firms. Six years later, Wilson Sonsini helped their company, Google, go public.”
See also: StartupCompanyLawyer.com, run by a Wilson Sonsini partner
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21 September 2012
Aggregated on Quora here.
19 September 2012
From SmartAsset, a calculator that in TechCrunch’s words “basically takes you through each event that can affect the division of a company’s equity. First you start with the founding — entering the total number of shares, each founder, and the equity that they receive. Then you enter employees and advisors and their equity. You can add multiple funding events and their details, and the eventual exit”. This is for US start-ups.