close

For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.  MORE >

Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

  • Named Technology Group of the Year by Law360
  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
  • Nearly 20 percent of Fenwick partners are ranked by Chambers
  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
  • Recognized as having top mentoring and pro bono programs by Euromoney

MORE >

We take sustainability very seriously at Fenwick. Like many of our clients, we are adopting policies that reduce consumption and waste, and improve efficiency. By using technologies developed by a number of our cleantech clients, we are at the forefront of implementing sustainable policies and practices that minimize environmental impact. In fact, Fenwick has earned recognition in several areas as one of the top US law firms for implementing sustainable business practices.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we have a passion for excellence and innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively.   MORE >

Mountain View Office
Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
650.988.8500

San Francisco Office
555 California Street
13th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
415.875.2300

Seattle Office
1191 Second Avenue
10th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
206.389.4510

New York Office
1211 Avenue of the Americas
32nd Floor
New York, NY 10036
212.921.2001

Shanghai Office
Unit 908, 9/F, Kerry Parkside Office
No. 1155 Fang Dian Road
Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201204
P.R. China
+86 21 8017 1200


Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey Reveals Solid Valuations in First Quarter of 2012

Strength Primarily in Software and Internet/Digital Media Industries

Some Moderating of Valuations Seen, Especially in Later Stage Financings

Mountain View, CA (May 24, 2012) – 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 First Quarter 2012 Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey.

The survey analyzed the valuations and terms of venture financings for 114 technology and life science companies headquartered in the Silicon Valley that reported raising capital in the first quarter of 2012.

"During the first quarter of 2012, up rounds exceeded down rounds 65% to 22%, with 13% flat. This was a mild decrease from the fourth quarter of 2011, when up rounds exceeded down rounds 70% to 16%, with 14% flat, but still a strong quarter for valuations. This was the eleventh consecutive quarter in which up rounds exceeded down rounds," said Barry Kramer, partner in the Corporate Group 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 change in share price of Silicon Valley companies funded during the quarter compared with the share price of their previous financing round – showed a 52% average price increase for the quarter, a decrease from the 85% reported in the fourth quarter of 2011. 

"Although the Barometer declined in the quarter, it is still at a very healthy level," said Kramer. "The primary reason for the decline was that in the fourth quarter of 2011, eleven companies had price increases of over 200%, a very substantial amount, while in the first quarter of 2012, only two companies did. Additionally, we did see some weakness in late stage financing valuations in this quarter, with 37% of Series E and higher rounds being down rounds, and the Barometer for those financings reporting only a 12% increase."

"The best performing industries in the quarter from a valuation perspective were internet/digital media and software (including a significant number of "software as a service" companies and companies building applications for mobile devices), which substantially outpaced the other industries, followed by cleantech, while the hardware and life science industries continued to lag," added Michael Patrick, partner in the Corporate Group of Fenwick & West and co-author of the survey.

"The first quarter of 2012 was a mixed quarter for the venture capital industry, with venture valuations healthy but venture investment down, M&A valuations up but the number of deals down, venture fundraising mixed but corporate venture investing up, and IPOs and Nasdaq up, but Nasdaq down in the second quarter to date and global financial uncertainty continuing to be a problem," added Patrick. 

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, 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 exclusively on trends in venture financing and valuations, the Fenwick & West Survey complements the economic data presented in the Dow Jones VentureSource Survey and the MoneyTree™ Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Reuters.

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

Merredith Branscombe
Le@p! Public Relations
Phone: 720.235.7363
Email: merredith@leappr.com

 
​​