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Venture Briefing: New Tech Start-Ups Worth $1 Billion Becoming More Common Venture Briefing: New Tech Start-Ups Worth $1 Billion Becoming More Common

Venture Briefing: New Tech Start-Ups Worth $1 Billion Becoming More Common

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New Tech Start-Ups Worth $1 Billion Becoming More Common
Technology start-ups worth $1 billion, once as rare as unicorns, are now plentiful enough and old enough that there's a new generation behind them -- one that looks very different. Many of the up-and-coming start-ups that may become the next unicorns have names like Benchling and Blend, and they largely focus on software for specific industries like farms, banks and life sciences companies.
(Source: The New York Times, 2019-02-10) Read the full article
More Unicorns Using 'Direct Listing' to Bypass Banks During IPOs
Workspace messaging app Slack said it had confidentially filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to go public as early as spring, making it one of the frontrunners in a string of 2019's high-profile tech IPOs. Similar to music streaming giant Spotify's market debut last year, Slack will pursue what's called a "direct listing" without the typical hiring of one or more investment banks as underwriters.
(Source: Observer, 2019-02-05) Read the full article
Many Companies Using Unaudited Financials to Report Earnings
The vast majority of companies that reported their fourth-quarter earnings between Jan. 1 and Feb. 1, did so without completing an audit, a practice that experts say could have troublesome consequences. Data provided by research firm Audit Analytics shows that of 174 companies with a market cap of at least $10 billion that reported earnings in that period, just six filed their 10-K and auditors report with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the same day or earlier.
(Source: MarketWatch, 2019-02-07) Read the full article
Small Businesses Hiring Independent Contractors at Higher Rate
Small businesses are relying on independent contractors more each year. In fact, the growth rate of independent contractors significantly outpaces that of small business hiring, meaning employers seemingly prefer to bring in outside consultants and freelancers rather than hire full-time employees.
(Source: Business News Daily, 2019-02-08) Read the full article
Men Still Rule in Venture Capital World, Analysis Finds
Venture capital is still very much a boys' club, according to a new Axios analysis. Only 9.65 percent of decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms are women.
(Source: Axios, 2019-02-14) Read the full article
Small Companies Feeling Heat to Boost Female Board Presence
The number of large public companies with all-male boards has dwindled in recent years as investors have demanded more boardroom diversity, and the pressure is trickling down to smaller companies. Proxy advisers are urging community banks, regional energy companies and other small and midsize enterprises to increase gender diversity on their boards or risk losing shareholder support.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2019-02-13) Read the full article
V.C. Funding Reaches $99.5B, AI Startups Raise Record $9.33B
As venture capital funding nears a record since the dot-com era, with U.S. companies raising $99.5 billion versus $119.6 billion in 2000 according to the latest PwC MoneyTree Report, AI startups also experienced their best year ever, raising a record $9.33 billion, or nearly 10 percent of last year's total V.C. investments. Since 2013, V.C. investments in AI startups has regularly increased over the following four years, with a compound annual growth rate of about 36 percent.
(Source: Forbes, 2019-02-12) Read the full article
58 Percent of Small Businesses Start with Less Than $25,000
Aspiring entrepreneurs take note: You don't need millions from angel investors or venture capitalists to launch your own business. According to entrepreneurs polled recently by Kabbage, a financial services and data platform serving small businesses, more than half of those polled, or 58 percent, started their businesses with less than $25,000.
(Source: CNBC, 2019-02-13) Read the full article
CEO Pay Ratio Rule Proven Worthless by Academic Analysis
Opponents of the CEO pay ratio rule have a new ally: a comprehensive academic analysis that methodically constructs a case for the rule's worthlessness. The rule, which the Dodd-Frank Act authorized in 2010 and the SEC implemented for 2018 fiscal years, requires public companies to publish in their annual reports the ratio between the total compensation of the company's CEO and that of its median-paid employee.
(Source:, 2019-02-11) Read the full article
2018 Saw Record $559 Million in Cryptocurrency M&A Deals
As the cumulative market cap for cryptocurrencies dropped from an all-time high of $813 billion in 2018 to just $130 billion at the end of the year, the industry was quietly consolidating at a historic rate. A record $559 million worth of cryptocurrency-related mergers and acquisitions deals took place in the United States in 2018, according to data provided to Forbes by Pitchbook, a financial database for investors.
(Source: Forbes, 2019-02-13) Read the full article
CPSC Wades Into the Water of Connected Device Guidance with Its “Framework of Safety for the Internet of Things”
Meghan Supino
Meghann Supino

In a statement dated January 31, 2019, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released its Framework of Safety for the Internet of Things[1] (the “IoT Framework”), which Commissioner Elliot Kaye referred to in his introductory statement as “just the beginning of a conversation about injury prevention” in connected devices. Read full article online.


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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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