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Venture Briefing: August 8, 2018 Venture Briefing: August 8, 2018

Venture Briefing: August 8, 2018

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V.C.s Invested Record $15B in Venture Rounds Over $100 Million
In July 2018, the tech sector's leisure class -- venture capitalists -- kicked investments into overdrive, at least when it comes to financing supergiant venture rounds of $100 million or more (in native or as-converted USD values). With 55 deals accounting for just over $15 billion at time of writing, July likely set an all-time record for the number of huge venture deals struck in a single month.
(Source: Tech Crunch, 2018-08-05) Read the full article
Changes to Foreign Investment Have P.E., V.C. Investors Concerned
Private equity and venture capital fund investors are braced for changes in how the U.S. government reviews foreign investment when regulators begin to implement legislation. The Senate joined the House in approving legislation updating the authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review -- and potentially block -- foreign investments that could raise national security considerations.
(Source: Pensions & Investments, 2018-08-06) Read the full article
Senate Approves NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act
The U.S. Senate has passed its version of the NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act, clearing the way for the bill to become law if and when the President signs it. The bipartisan measure promises smaller companies a consistent, relevant and universal set of NIST-based guidance and resources for protecting their data against online threats.
(Source: Engadget, 2018-08-01) Read the full article
SEC Makes it Easier for Small Firms to Grant Stock Compensation
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently took actions making it easier for small companies -- such as startups -- to grant employees company stock options and other equity as compensation. The SEC published in the Federal Register a final rule to amend Securities Act Rule 701 by doubling the dollar amount (based on annual stock sales) under which securities issued as compensation to employees, directors or consultants are exempt from requirements to provide detailed disclosures to plan participants.
(Source: SHRMOnline, 2018-07-26) Read the full article
Average Global Corporate Tax Rate Declined to 24 Percent in 2018
Taxes on corporations are plummeting across the globe as countries struggle to keep up with multinational firms shifting their profits to foreign tax havens, economists say in a new paper. The average corporate tax rate globally has fallen by more than half over the past three decades, from 49 percent in 1985 to 24 percent in 2018, the study found.
(Source: The Washington Post (free reg. req'd), 2018-07-24) Read the full article
Boards More Candid When CEOs Fired for Misconduct
Boards are acting more quickly than ever to fire executives accused of misconduct, and they're more likely to be clear about the reasons, according to two new studies. The time between the first public report of an executive's alleged misdeeds and a company announcement of a subsequent dismissal is down to just over two weeks on average this year, compared with six weeks last year, according to crisis-consultant Temin & Co.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2018-07-30) Read the full article
Report Finds Penalties Imposed on Corporate Violators Declined
The Trump administration has imposed fewer penalties on corporations that broke the law or violated regulations during President Trump's first year in office, according to a watchdog group. Public Citizen found that in 11 of 12 federal agencies, penalties against corporate violators dropped by at least 50 percent under the oversight of Trump-appointed officials, according to a report obtained by The Hill.
(Source: The Hill, 2018-07-25) Read the full article
Small Businesses Lack Financial Literacy, Study Finds
A new study shows that however creative the concept, small-business owners often lack the financial literacy to understand what they're getting into. And that's a big reason why something like half of all small businesses fail within about five years.
(Source: The Portland Press Herald, 2018-08-02) Read the full article
Report Says Next Silicon Valley Could Be Outside U.S.
The San Francisco Bay Area remains the world's leading hub of startups. But cities outside of America are making considerable gains, according to a new report by CB Insights, one of the leading trackers of venture-capital investment in high-tech startups. Although Silicon Valley is still "off the charts … Beijing and Shanghai are poised to be the tech hubs of the future," the report notes.
(Source: CityLab, 2018-07-31) Read the full article
Survey Finds Start-Up Founders Face Considerable Stress
In today's competitive world, a company aiming for high-performance growth cannot function without a high-performance founder, but such an approach has its downsides. A recent survey by the Australian chapter of consultancy firm KPMG found that constant stress and high-risk of failure is making start-up founders, backed by venture capital, work an average of 64 hours a week, affecting their physical and mental health.
(Source:, 2018-08-02) Read the full article
Ripple Investor Sues, Claiming Cryptocurrency Creator Broke Securities Laws

A recent lawsuit against the cyrptocurrency startup Ripple sparks additional questions about whether cryptocurrencies can be considered securities and how they should be regulated. Read full article here.


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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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