VCJ Venture IPO Guest Column

Well-positioned cloud analytics unicorn Anaplan readies for IPO

By Rohit Kulkarni, SharesPost Anaplan, an enterprise software maker focused on cloud-based planning tools, said it will go public on Nasdaq under the aptly named ticker symbol PLAN. Privately valued at $1.41 billion, the San Francisco unicorn counts Granite Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and Baillie Gifford as its investors. Thanks to healthy fundamentals, Anaplan is well […]

VCJ Venture Guest Column SharesPost IPO

Upwork looks like another unicorn IPO in the making

By Rohit Kulkarni, SharesPost Upwork, an online platform that connects companies with freelancers, recently said it plans to go public on Nasdaq under the ticker UPWK. The company, the product of a merger between Elance and oDesk in 2014, helps everyone from the Fortune 1000 to small business clients find competent freelancers with skills in […]

Refinery Ventures, venture capital, merger, M&A, technology

What tech M&A knows that VC still doesn’t get

By Tim Schigel, Refinery Ventures VCs are staring at a massive opportunity to make capital-efficient deals at better valuations, and it’s located squarely in the middle of the U.S. Major tech companies are establishing footholds far from Silicon Valley. Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others are rapidly expanding in the Midwest and elsewhere. Google, having outgrown California, has […]

#MeToo, private equity, venture capital, Andrew Jennings, law, women's issues

Ten best practices for #MeToo due diligence

By Andrew K. Jennings, Ekdesk With #MeToo emerging as a distinct risk category in M&A, buyers and their advisers must think about how to diligence these issues. Nearly a year after the Harvey Weinstein story broke, “Weinstein” and “#MeToo” reps are starting to appear in merger agreements and may be on their way to becoming market terms. […]

VCJ Venture SharesPost

Can popular Silicon Valley brand SurveyMonkey avoid a down-round IPO?

By Rohit Kulkarni, SharesPost SurveyMonkey is finally pulling the trigger. The nearly 20-year-old unicorn, which pioneered internet polls on everything from consumer brands to politics, recently said it will go public on Nasdaq under the ticker SVMK. With revenue above $200 million for fiscal 2017, SurveyMonkey has a strong presence in the growing data intelligence […]

Patrick Crocker, MHT Partners, private equity, e-commerce, retail, consumer

Despite the rise of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retail ain’t dead yet

By Patrick Crocker, MHT Partners It’s a well-worn adage among investors on Wall Street that e-commerce retailing, dominated by Amazon, is killing brick-and-mortar stores. While that’s true for some retailers, a closer examination suggests that the rumors of the death of retail stores may be premature. From giant Walmart to discount chain Dollar General, many […]

Mark Edgarton, Kevin Quigley, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, private equity, law, sandbagging, merger, M&A

Sandbagging: Choice of law matters

By G. Mark Edgarton and Kevin C. Quigley, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP Sandbagging disputes are among the most contentious issues in M&A litigation. These issues matter to private equity sponsors, particularly in the growing middle market, as they pursue attractively priced deals in an increasingly competitive environment. Sandbagging in M&A refers to a situation […]

Blocktrade Capital, Ben Marks, initial coin offering, venture capital

Four keys to successfully launching an ICO

By Ben Marks, Blocktrade Capital I spend significant time researching ICOs to help me make informed decisions about whether to get involved. Below are four of the key characteristics I look for in assessing whether a project has a high chance of success. Secure support from influential crypto enthusiasts ICO projects are plentiful, so it […]


Eventbrite moves toward a $2 bln-plus IPO

By Rohit Kulkarni, SharesPost Eventbrite Inc, the event ticketing and services unicorn, recently filed its S-1 in advance of its IPO. Eventbrite’s potential IPO is well timed to take advantage of the very favorable IPO market and the fresh highs in equities markets. At its most recent funding round in August 2017, the company was […]

Matthew Nelson, Norton Rose Fulbright, law, private equity, Australia

Australia: Land of opportunity for U.S. PE

By Matthew Nelson, Norton Rose Fulbright One of U.S. private equity’s biggest challenges is how to deploy the record dry powder it has raised in recent years. Compounding the issue is intense competition for deals in North America, Europe and Asia. Against this backdrop, Australia presents a unique opportunity. While U.S. PE firms have been […]

Allen Latta, Campton Private Equity Advisors, private equity, venture capital, limited partners

Compelling PE Roadshows: The Investor Perspective

By Allen Latta, Campton Private Equity Advisors Thousands of private equity funds are being raised right now.[1]  For a fund in the market, that’s a massive amount of competition.  Limited partners (or LPs), the investors in private equity funds, are constantly meeting with general partners (GPs), the fund managers, to select the very best funds […]


The most underrated M&A landmine: cybersecurity

By Chad Holmes, Optiv Recent years have seen multiple high-profile instances of “acquisitions gone wrong” due to data breaches during the M&A process. The most famous of these was in 2016, when an M&A deal between one of the world’s largest telecom companies and a leading internet company was almost derailed by a breach disclosure. […]

Private equity, accounting, Tim Mundy, private equity, FASB, IASB

Don’t let this accounting-rule change take your fund by surprise in 2019

By Tim Mundy, Deloitte & Touche One of the biggest shifts in corporate finance since Sarbanes-Oxley is barreling toward private companies and their PE backers. We’re talking about the new revenue-recognition-accounting standard from the Financial Accounting Standards Board and International Accounting Standards Board. On Jan. 1, private companies in all industries will have to conform […]

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Tenable’s IPO may be a cybersecurity unicorn in the making

By Rohit Kulkarni, SharesPost Tenable could very well be headed to unicorn status given its financials, improving profitability, and the strong investor demand for cybersecurity providers. The Maryland company, which investors valued at $875 million as of 2015, makes software that enables companies to understand and reduce cybersecurity threats. Tenable’s planned IPO comes amid a […]

private equity, accounting, balance sheet, Cahill Gordon & Reindel, Helene Banks, law, merger, M&A

Five dangers lurking in the balance sheet of your next transaction

By Helene Banks, Cahill Gordon & Reindel Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Many private equity investors imagine a countdown clock as they hurriedly prepare to buy or sell a business. “Time kills deals” is the cliché, and both buy- and sell-side management teams are acutely aware of the need to reach closing day in a timely […]

VCJ Venture Guest Column IPO

The verdict is in: Spotify’s direct listing is an unqualified success

By Rohit Kulkarni, SharesPost Spotify took an enormous gamble when it decided to directly list its shares on the NYSE in the largest deal of its kind. Unlike others, the company decided not to use the usual crowd of investment bankers, roadshow organizers, bookrunners and equity underwriters to market its stock and set an IPO […]

Ukraine, private equity, software, outsourcing

Ukraine’s IT sector: a new Mecca for emerging markets PE?

When people think IT outsourcing, they think Bangalore or Hyderabad or any number of tech hubs in South Asia. But Ukraine is rapidly emerging as a leader in competitive IT services, creating new opportunities for savvy private equity investors. A.T. Kearney’s Global Services Location Index ranks Ukraine among the largest outsourcing markets worldwide. The country’s […]