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Fenwick's Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey Shows Strong Valuation Increases in Fourth Quarter of 2014

Highest Average Price Increase on Record

Mountain View, CA (February 11, 2015) – Fenwick & West LLP, one of the nation’s premier law firms providing comprehensive legal services to high technology and life science clients, today announced the results of its Fourth Quarter 2014 Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey.

The survey analyzed the valuations and terms of venture financings for 150 technology and life science companies headquartered in the Silicon Valley that raised capital in the fourth quarter of 2014.

“During the fourth quarter of 2014, up rounds exceeded down rounds 79% to 6%, with 15% flat.  This was stronger than the third quarter of 2014, when up rounds exceeded down rounds 76% to 12%, with 12% flat, and only a bit below the record setting second quarter of 2014,” said Barry Kramer, partner in the Corporate Group of Fenwick & West and co-author of the survey. of Fenwick & West and co-author of the survey.

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.

The Fenwick & West Venture Capital Barometer™ – which measures the average percentage change in share price of companies funded during the quarter compared with the share price of their previous financing round – showed a 115% average price increase for the quarter, a noticeable increase from the 79% recorded in the third quarter, and the highest amount since we began calculating this statistic in 2005.  The median price increase of fourth quarter financings was 61%, also an increase from the 43% recorded in the third quarter. 

“The best performing industries in the quarter from a valuation perspective were software (which had 50% of the deals) and internet/digital media, which had 84% and 89% up rounds, respectively.  Hardware also had a strong quarter with 75% up rounds, while life sciences lagged some with 56% up rounds, but was still solid,” added Michael Patrick, also a partner in the Corporate Group of Fenwick & West and co-author of the survey. 

“At the big picture level, the fourth quarter of 2014, and 2014 in general, were very strong time periods, with venture investments (in dollars), the number of venture backed IPOs and the amounts paid in acquisition of venture backed companies hitting their highest annual levels since 2000, and venture fundraising hitting its highest level since 2007.”

Complete results of the survey with related discussion are posted on Fenwick & West’s website at www.fenwick.com/vcsurvey.

About the Survey
The Fenwick & West Quarterly Venture Capital Survey, co-authored by law firm partners Barry J. Kramer and Michael J. Patrick, has been published for over 13 years and offers a unique view of the venture capital market in Silicon Valley by providing insight into the changes in venture capital valuations and terms. Focusing on trends in venture financing and valuations, the Fenwick & West Survey complements the economic data presented by Dow Jones VentureSource, the MoneyTree™ Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Reuters, and CB Insights.

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.

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