New Options for Raising Capital for Startups and Growth Companies

“illustrationTraditionally, when raising capital, an overwhelming majority of businesses have used Rule 506 of Regulation D, also often known as the “private placement exemption” as their exemption from securities registration requirements. In recent years, Congress, the SEC, and state regulators have enacted a number of alternative exemptions designed to make capital formation easier for growing businesses, such as equity crowdfunding and “mini-IPOs,” as well as made refinements to existing exemptions, such as Rule 147 (intrastate offerings) and Rule 504. In this post, I’ll provide an overview of these newer options. [Read more…]

The Life Cycle of a Private Equity or Venture Capital Fund

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Unlike most hedge funds, the investment holdings of private equity and venture capital funds typically are not liquid. Consequently, private equity and venture capital funds usually do not have any redemption rights and are organized to have a limited life cycle, often in the range of 7 to 15 years. During this life cycle, the fund manager will raise the capital for the fund, deploy that capital into investments, hold those investments, and then sell those investments and return the capital to the fund’s investors. This activity occurs over several distinct phases – the marketing period, the commitment period, and the post-commitment period. [Read more…]

Convertible Equity Options for Startups: SAFEs and KISSes

illustration of raising capitalWhen it comes to raising capital to get your new business off the ground, there’s a range of investment structures available, from common stock to exchangeable shares. One of the newer and most popular forms of financing for startups is convertible equity.

When raising an angel or seed round of financing, many startups increasingly opt to offer investors some form of convertible equity rather than more-traditional convertible notes, which require the company to repay the investment plus interest if the company is unable to raise future rounds. Convertible equity, on the other hand, removes the stress of possible repayment with interest, and gives the company the potential of starting out free of significant debt. [Read more…]

Managing Conflicts of Interest in Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds

illustration of private equity fundsSince the Securities and Exchange Commission has recently taken an increasingly closer look at the activities of private equity and venture capital fund managers, it is more important than ever for fund managers to understand when conflicts of interest are likely to arise and how to manage them properly. The SEC has expressed concern about conflicts of interest inherent in the private equity business model and has brought several enforcement actions against private equity fund managers in the last couple of years that mostly focus on direct and indirect compensation to managers or advisers that were not properly disclosed to the fund’s investors. Since the SEC takes the position that fund managers and advisers owe a fiduciary duty of loyalty to act in the fund’s best interest, fund managers must keep a close eye on potential conflicts of interest and employ best practices like consulting advisory committees whenever possible conflicts arise. [Read more…]

Pre-Money Valuation vs. Post-Money Valuation

The concept of pre-money valuation vs. post-money valuation can be a confusing one at first for many startup founders. Pre-money valuation refers to the valuation of the company prior to the investment whereas post-money valuation refers to the value after an investment has been made.

Most founders, when they think of the concept of valuation are referring to pre-money valuation. But calculating pre-money valuation is not intuitive or straightforward. [Read more…]