This is the ninth post in a series exploring recent SEC regulations that define the term “venture capital fund” for the purposes of determining whether a fund’s manager is exempt from SEC registration requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act.
Previously in the first installment of this series, I provided a general overview of how the SEC has defined the term “venture capital fund.” A private fund manager that solely advises venture capital funds (as defined in SEC regulations) qualifies for an exemption from investment adviser registration under the Investment Advisers Act. There are five elements to the definition. The first element is that the fund must represent to investors and potential investors that it pursues a venture capital strategy. The second element is that no more than 20% of the fund’s total assets (including committed but not yet invested capital) can be invested in assets that are not “qualifying investments” or “short term holdings.” The third element is the fund cannot borrow in excess of 15 percent of the fund’s aggregate capital contributions and uncalled committed capital. The fourth element is that the fund cannot provide its investors with redemption rights, except in “extraordinary circumstances.” In this post, I will discuss the fifth and final element of the definition, which prohibits a VC fund from registering as an investment company. [Read more…]