Venture Briefing: February 7, 2018 Venture Briefing: February 7, 2018

Venture Briefing: February 7, 2018

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Venture Capital Still King as Funding Source, Women Still Lacking
According to a report by Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), founders still view venture capital as their biggest source of funding, still prefer an acquisition to an initial public offering, and still tend to hire men over women. For its report, SVB polled 1,045 startups, the majority of which are based in the U.S., the U.K., and China.
(Source: Venture Beat, 2018-01-29) Read the full article
Executive Predicts Cross-Border M&A to Rise Amid Tax Reform
U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs expects a pickup in cross-border mergers and acquisitions activity due to President Donald Trump's tax reform, high cash levels, and technological progress, a senior executive told a German paper. "It is quite possible that (U.S.) corporations will further consolidate their home market and take over competitors," Wolfgang Fink, co-chief of Goldman Sachs in Germany, told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
(Source: Reuters, 2018-02-04) Read the full article
Private Equity Hit Record $2.38 Trillion in Assets in 2017
The private equity industry saw a year of strong growth in 2017, and as of the end of June (the latest available data) has reached a record $2.38 trillion in assets under management. This is an increase of $248 billion from the end of 2016, as the industry grew by almost 10 percent in six months.
(Source: Value Walk, 2018-01-31) Read the full article
Fewer Startups Seeking to Go Public, As Number Drops in Half
In 1997, more than 7,500 American firms were listed publicly in the U.S. Nearly two decades later, in 2016, the number had dropped more than half, slipping to 3,618 firms.
(Source: Quartz, 2018-02-02) Read the full article
SEC Considers Banning Investor Lawsuits for First Time Ever
In its determination to reverse a two-decade slump in U.S. stock listings, a regulator might offer companies an extreme incentive to go public: the ability to bar aggrieved shareholders from suing. The Securities and Exchange Commission, in its long history, has never allowed companies to sell shares in initial public offerings while also letting them ban investors from seeking big financial damages through class-action lawsuits. But as President Donald Trump's pro-business agenda sweeps through Washington, the SEC is laying the groundwork for a possible policy shift, said three people familiar with the matter.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2018-01-26) Read the full article
Report Finds Startups Raised $5.6 Billion Through ICOs in 2017
Startups and projects raised $5.6 billion last year through so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to a new report. The year 2017 saw a huge boom in companies raising money by issuing their own digital currencies, which are structured similarly to bitcoin, in return for funds to build their business.
(Source: Business Insider, 2018-01-31) Read the full article
Activist Shareholders Focusing More on Executive Compensation
Shareholder votes on executive compensation have focused the attention of some of the world's largest institutional shareholders on the link between pay and company performance. That's opened an additional avenue for activists to shore up support for their proposals, says Steven Balet, a managing director and activism expert at FTI Consulting.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2018-02-02) Read the full article
Increase in Shareholder Suits Could Cause Insurance Rates to Rise
With the number of shareholder lawsuits soaring, CFOs are likely to soon become preoccupied with their companies' insurance premiums and the need to make scrupulous disclosures, a review of last year's securities class-action lawsuits suggests. Reaching a record high for the second straight year, the 412 securities-fraud class-action suits filed in 2017 represented an increase of more than 50 percent over the previous record of 271 filings in 2016, according to a report by Cornerstone Research and the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse.
(Source:, 2018-01-31) Read the full article
Small Businesses Trying to Figure Out Tax Law's Impact
Although there are still many unknowns about the tax law that took effect Jan. 1, some small-business owners already have figured out that they stand to gain from some of its changes and are altering their plans to maximize their benefits. Tax professionals advise owners not to rush into decisions based on what they believe they know about the law.
(Source: USA Today, 2018-01-29) Read the full article
Survey Finds Small Business Owners More Optimistic About 2018
Small business owners began 2018 upbeat about how their companies will fare over the course of the year, according to a quarterly survey by Wells Fargo and Gallup. The two companies' index of owners' expectations for the next 12 months rose to 65 in the survey taken Jan. 2-9.
(Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 2018-02-02) Read the full article
Revised Hart-Scott-Rodino Thresholds Take Effect

Effective February 28, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission has revised the thresholds used to determine whether companies must notify federal agencies about a proposed acquisition prior to closing. Specifically, the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act requires parties to notify the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice before completing transactions that exceed applicable “size of transaction” and “size of person” thresholds. Read full article online.


No (Tax-) Free Lunch: Entertainment, Awards, and Meals Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ("Act"), signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, changes, among many other things, the availability of employer deductions for fringe benefits. In this article, we take a close look at the Act's changes to employer deductions for business-related entertainment, employee achievement awards, and on-premises meals. Read full article online.


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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