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Fenwick & West's Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey Reveals 45% Increase in Valuations

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., February 28, 2006/Business Wire/ - Fenwick & West LLP, one of the nation's premier law firms providing comprehensive legal services to high technology and life science clients, today announced results of its Fourth Quarter 2005 Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey.

The survey analyzed the valuations and terms of venture financings for 115 technology and life science companies headquartered in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area that reported raising capital during the fourth quarter of 2005.

The results show that Fenwick & West's Venture Capital Barometer™—the measurement of change in share price of Silicon Valley companies funded during the quarter compared with their previous financing round—was up 45%.

"This is the largest increase since the survey began," said Barry Kramer, partner in the firm and co-author of the survey. "The results represent a continuation of the strong positive trend in venture valuations that we have seen over the last two years."

The survey also disclosed that up rounds exceeded down rounds for the eighth consecutive quarter. "Up rounds outpaced down rounds 69% to 19%," said Kramer, "marking the survey's most significant margin to date."

An up round is one in which the price per share at which a company sells its stock has increased since its prior financing round. Conversely, a down round is one in which the price per share has declined since a company's prior financing round.

Michael Patrick, also a partner in the firm and survey co-author, said, "As reported by other industry publications, the amount invested by venture capitalists in the U.S. in the fourth quarter was approximately $5.3 billion. Although the amount was approximately 10% less than the amounts invested in the third and second quarters, it fell solidly within the $5-6 billion quarterly range seen since the end of 2003."

"Healthcare companies," said Patrick, "continued to be strong contributors in all categories, accounting for 30% of funding, 34% of acquisition proceeds, and 45% of IPO proceeds of all venture backed U.S. companies in 2005."

Life Science Survey

Fenwick & West today also announced the results of its second annual San Francisco Bay Area Life Science Venture Capital Valuation Survey, which showed a continuation of positive trends in the life sciences venture environment.

The survey was based on the venture financings of 74 life science companies headquartered in the Bay Area.

"In our annual life science survey, up rounds outpaced down rounds in 2005 by 65% to 21%," said Kramer, "a noticeable improvement over 2004 and slightly better than the results posted by non-life science companies in 2005."

Additionally, the Fenwick & West Life Science Barometer™ "showed a very healthy 43% average price increase for life science companies receiving venture financing in 2005 compared to their prior financing round," said Kramer.

Complete results of both surveys are posted on Fenwick & West's website at www.fenwick.com/vctrends.htm.

About the Survey

The Fenwick & West Quarterly Venture Capital Survey and the Life Science Venture Capital Valuation Survey, co-authored by law firm partners Barry J. Kramer and Michael J. Patrick, offer a unique view of the venture capital market in the San Francisco Bay Area by providing insight into the changes in venture capital valuations and terms. Focusing exclusively on trends in venture financing and valuations, the Fenwick & West Surveys complement the economic data presented in the Dow Jones/VentureSource Survey and the MoneyTree™ Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Venture Economics and the National Venture Capital Association.


About Fenwick & West

Established in 1972, Fenwick & West LLP is one of the nation's premier law firms with extensive expertise in venture capital, public offerings and other corporate finance, joint ventures, M&A and strategic relationships, intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, taxation, antitrust and employment and labor law.

Contacts:

Barry J. Kramer
Fenwick & West LLP
Phone: 650.335.7278
Email: bkramer@fenwick.com

Michael J. Patrick
Fenwick & West LLP
Phone: 650.335.7273
Email: mpatrick@fenwick.com

Richard Wood
Sand Hill Partners (for Fenwick & West LLP)
Phone: 650.631.0123
Email: partners@sandhillroad.com