Venture Briefing: FTC Settlement Provides Data Security Guidance Venture Briefing: FTC Settlement Provides Data Security Guidance

Venture Briefing: FTC Settlement Provides Data Security Guidance

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Venture Capital Firms Invested Massive $77.3 Billion in 2015
2015 ended up with a simply staggering tally of $77.3 billion in total venture capital invested. Coupling that sum with 2014 numbers produces $145.3 billion invested in venture rounds in the U.S. in the span of just two years.
(Source: Value Walk, 2016-01-07) Read the full article
2015 a Good Year for M&A, But Private Equity Missed Out
While 2015 was a good year for mergers and acquisitions, private equity missed out on the bulk of the action. There were $2.283 trillion of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. last year, the highest level on record, according to data provider Dealogic Ltd, but buyouts accounted for about six percent of that sum, down from ​about eight percent for 2014 and about ​14 percent for 2013, according to Dealogic.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2016-01-05) Read the full article
85 Percent of Surveyed Pros Expect Uptick in 2016 Private Equity
A recent survey of 142 professionals conducted by ACG New York, the largest association of middle market deal making professionals in New York, found that 83 percent of them expect private equity investments to outperform the S&P 500 in 2016. The survey results also indicate strong deal flow, as 66 percent of respondents believe their firm's overall transaction volume will increase.
(Source:, 2016-01-07) Read the full article
More Companies Choosing to Remain Private Rather Than Go With IPO
Investors may finally be running out of patience with the growing number of companies choosing to stay private rather than enter the public markets. Companies going public raised $30 billion this year, according to a report from IPO research firm Renaissance Capital -- a six-year low.
(Source: Mercury News, 2015-12-18) Read the full article
Growing Number of Large Companies Looking into Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding, a trend popularized by artists and tinkerers, is now so hot that corporate giants are looking for a way in. A growing number of large companies are experimenting with programs intended to capture some of the creativity and passion that popular crowdfunded projects can inspire.
(Source: The New York Times, 2016-01-06) Read the full article
Study Says Companies May Need to Revise Clawback Policies Per SEC
Large U.S. companies may need to revise their policies as the Securities and Exchange Commission moves toward a final clawback rule, a recent study suggests. According to a report released by compensation advisory firm Frederic W. Cook & Co., many companies have clawback policy features that are inconsistent with the SEC's proposed requirements.
(Source: BNA, 2015-12-18) Read the full article
Approval of $680 Billion Tax Bill Could Lead to Reform in 2017
Congressional approval of a $680 billion tax bill may have "set the stage" for tax reform in 2017, The Hill reports. The bill locked in a number of costly tax breaks that could be traded as part of future legislation that lowers the 35 percent corporate tax rate, which is widely cited as one of the highest in the world.
(Source:, 2015-12-22) Read the full article
Despite 'Community Rating' Rate Hikes, Small Biz Stick With Insurance
The Affordable Care Act changed small group plan pricing so that insurers can only take age, family size, geography and tobacco use into account when determining premiums, a process known as "community rating." This was supposed to make the rating system more fair, but so far has had the effect of raising the cost of insurance for many businesses with young, healthy workforces.
(Source:, 2016-01-10) Read the full article
Women Make Strides on Corporate Boards, But Parity a Long Way Off
While representation of women on the boards of U.S. publicly-traded companies has been increasing, equality could still be decades away, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. In 2014, women accounted for about 16 percent of board seats in the S&P 1500, a ratio that has increased steadily from eight percent in 1997, but even if equal proportions of women and men joined boards each year beginning in 2015, the GAO estimated it could take more than four decades for women's representation on boards to be on par with that of men’s.
(Source:, 2016-01-06) Read the full article
Universities Step Up Game to Cater to Future Entrepreneurs
Ten years ago, it may have sufficed to offer a few entrepreneurship courses, workshops and clubs, but undergraduates -- driven by a sullen job market and inspired by billion-dollar success narratives from Silicon Valley -- now expect universities to teach them how to convert their ideas into business or nonprofit ventures. As a result, colleges -- and elite institutions in particular -- have become engaged in an innovation arms race.
(Source: The New York Times, 2015-12-28) Read the full article
FTC Settlement Provides Data Security Guidance
Siddharth “Sid” Bose Eric McKeown

The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") recently settled charges that a company’s security practices unfairly exposed the payment card information of hundreds of thousands of companies' consumers to hackers in three separate data breaches. The settlement resolved a case brought by the FTC under Section 5 of the FTC Act, alleging that the data security practices in place at the company and its franchisee hotels were “unfair” and that the company’s privacy policy statements regarding those practices were “deceptive.” Read full article online.


By The Numbers

From 2008-2010 to 2012-2014 the average valuation of a VC-backed exit nearly doubled in inflation-adjusted terms. The complete numbers aren’t out yet for 2015, but the partial figures suggest that exit valuations aren’t as good as they have been in recent years, which will pull down to the 2013-2015 average.
Source: Small Business Trends - What’s the Most Popular Song on Sand Hill Road?


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Ice Miller has been one of the most active law firms in the private equity industry over the last decade, representing both entrepreneurs building great companies and the private equity firms and individuals that invest in them.  We have extensive experience with all types of funds (formations and operations); mezzanine and senior secured financing; leveraged buyouts, roll-ups, build-ups, and consolidations; divestitures and exits; and complex litigation on behalf of investors and privately financed companies.  In addition, over the past 10 years, Ice Miller has represented hundreds of emerging growth businesses in various industries on such matters as entity formation, capitalization, capital raising, alternative financing, intellectual property rights and protection, growth and exit strategies, corporate governance, tax matters, and many other legal issues that are critical to the growth and success of an emerging company.

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This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice.  The reader must consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.

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