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Cooley Godward seeing a shift towards a lower proportion of early stage financings September 12, 2008

Posted by jeremyliew in VC, Venture Capital.
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Cooley is one of the largest and most respected law firms in Silicon Valley. It recently released its Private Company Financings Report for Q1 2008, based on the 66 completed deals that the firm worked on in that quarter. The report confirms that early stage financings have declined as a percentage of total deals, 59% of all financings, the lowest percentage since Q4 2004. Series D and later financings have increased to 19%, likely taking up some of the slack from the lack of venture backed IPOs that we have seen so far this year.

Other notable facts:

    24% of financings were flat or down rounds, about the same proportion as recent quarters

    1x liquidation preference* and broad based weighted average antidilution continue to be the norm.

    46% of Series A deals have participation* beyond 1x liquidation preference, increasing up to 66% of Series D and later deals.

    65% of deals have a drag along feature, continuing the upward trend that is making this more of a standard.

Interesting reading for both investors and entrepreneurs.

* If you’re not familiar with liquidation preferences and participation, Brad Feld and Ask the Wizard have good overviews.

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