Cannabis Investing VC

Cannatech: Cultivating marijuana’s green valleys

By Jeff Howard and Michael Gruber, Salveo Capital As the cannabis industry takes shape, the market’s momentum has been punctuated every few weeks by news of celebrity enlistments, ranging from the obvious, such as Willie Nelson, to the unexpected, John Boehner. While it may not capture the public’s imagination, the steady march of Silicon Valley […]

building products, construction, homebuilding, private equity, merger, M&A

U.S. building products: untapped potential for PE

By Nick Gaidai Often overlooked by private equity players due to its cyclicality, the U.S. building-products sector presents a strong case for value-adding investors. Operationally minded PE shops that are able to navigate homebuilding cycles, execute on disciplined bolt-on acquisition strategies and adopt new technologies can deliver returns in the high teens by investing in […]

Pine Brook Partners, private equity, energy, oil and gas

Private equity’s energy moment

By Richard Aube, Pine Brook To the casual observer, late 2014 through 2017 was a rough time to be invested in the energy industry. The oil market was awash in oversupply, creating a down cycle for the industry and a volatile commodity-price environment that few understood. As a result, even today, someone who took only […]

VCJ Guest Column Risk Reward

Risk/rewards of SPACs and why they’re in vogue with investors

By Craig Lawson, MHT Partners The special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, is back. This unique, at times misunderstood, hybrid investment vehicle has enjoyed a strong resurgence in recent years. SPACs, known on Wall Street as blank-check companies, enable investors to acquire equity in a company formed for the sole purpose of finding an appropriate firm […]

Akin Gump, Lisa Peterson, private equity, family office, co-investment

Co-Investments: protecting your investment

By Lisa Peterson, Akin Gump Fund sponsors see co-investment opportunities as a way to mitigate fundraising challenges, recruit strategic partners and develop strong relationships. Some sophisticated fund investors, including institutions, family offices and high-net-worth individuals, leverage co-investments to increase exposure to high-quality managers, with an improved risk/return profile and more diversification, at a lower cost. […]

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. […]