Emerging Company and Venture Capital TRANSACTIONAL

Helping clients launch their businesses and transform their innovative ideas into successful companies.


WilmerHale's nationally recognized Emerging Company and Venture Capital Practice has helped thousands of entrepreneurs successfully launch their businesses; raise billions in angel, venture and strategic financing; and lead their companies to sale, IPO and market leadership. We have a longstanding tradition of representing innovators, entrepreneurs and investors across a wide range of industries. We offer solution-focused, strategic advice and an indispensable business perspective that is critical to our clients' success. Our team-oriented approach to service gives clients the flexibility to call on a number of experienced lawyers at any time, including our more than 100 dedicated corporate lawyers located in the most active startup markets across the United States. U.S. News - Best Lawyers defines our practice as “a top notch group with smart and practical lawyers who know how to complete deals,” and clients say that “WilmerHale is excellent” and “very attentive and responsive, putting the interest of the venture always first.”

Drawing on WilmerHale's extensive experience, the firm developed WilmerHaleLaunch.com to provide insightful and practical information about topics relevant to the development of a company. Our corporate capabilities are bolstered by our experience in a variety of practice areas—from intellectual property and labor and employment to tax, litigation, regulatory issues and beyond.

Through our QuickLaunch Program, our lawyers help entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses, and because of our extensive lifecycle experience we are able to provide startups with innovative, business-oriented solutions.

Helping clients launch their businesses and transform their innovative ideas into successful companies.


WilmerHale's nationally recognized Emerging Company and Venture Capital Practice has helped thousands of entrepreneurs successfully launch their businesses; raise billions in angel, venture and strategic financing; and lead their companies to sale, IPO and market leadership. We have a longstanding tradition of representing innovators, entrepreneurs and investors across a wide range of industries. We offer solution-focused, strategic advice and an indispensable business perspective that is critical to our clients' success. Our team-oriented approach to service gives clients the flexibility to call on a number of experienced lawyers at any time, including our more than 100 dedicated corporate lawyers located in the most active startup markets across the United States. U.S. News - Best Lawyers defines our practice as “a top notch group with smart and practical lawyers who know how to complete deals,” and clients say that “WilmerHale is excellent” and “very attentive and responsive, putting the interest of the venture always first.”

Drawing on WilmerHale's extensive experience, the firm developed WilmerHaleLaunch.com to provide insightful and practical information about topics relevant to the development of a company. Our corporate capabilities are bolstered by our experience in a variety of practice areas—from intellectual property and labor and employment to tax, litigation, regulatory issues and beyond.

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Contacts

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Buckland, Peter

Peter Buckland

Vice Chair, Corporate Practice Group

Co-Chair, Emerging Company Practice

+1 650 858 6036 (t)

peter.buckland@wilmerhale.com

Gammell, David

David D. Gammell

Co-Chair, Emerging Company Practice

+1 617 526 6839 (t)

david.gammell@wilmerhale.com

Bain, Mick

Mick Bain

Co-Chair, Corporate Practice Group

+1 617 526 6158 (t)

michael.bain@wilmerhale.com

Der Marderosian, Lia

Lia Der Marderosian

Co-Chair, Corporate Practice Group

+1 617 526 6982 (t)

lia.dermarderosian@wilmerhale.com

Bain, Mick

Mick Bain

Partner

+1 617 526 6158 (t)

michael.bain@wilmerhale.com

Bonnes, Andrew

Andrew Bonnes

Partner

+1 617 526 6136 (t)

andrew.bonnes@wilmerhale.com

Boot, Jeannette K.

Jeannette K. Boot

Partner

+1 212 295 6507 (t)

jeannette.boot@wilmerhale.com

Borden, Mark G.

Mark G. Borden

Partner

+1 617 526 6675 (t)

mark.borden@wilmerhale.com

Bothwick, Jay E.

Jay E. Bothwick

Partner

+1 617 526 6526 (t)

jay.bothwick@wilmerhale.com

Braun, Martin

Dr. Martin Braun

Partner

+49 69 27 10 78 207 (t)

martin.braun@wilmerhale.com

Brown, Lillian

Lillian Brown

Partner

+1 202 663 6743 (t)

lillian.brown@wilmerhale.com

Buckland, Peter

Peter Buckland

Partner

+1 650 858 6036 (t)

peter.buckland@wilmerhale.com

Emerging Company

We work with founders to properly set up their companies; review business plans and identify companies' key strengths and weaknesses before approaching financing sources; license core technology; develop strategies to obtain funding and negotiate terms for initial and later-stage financings; prepare and implement key agreements with management, employees, consultants and advisors; design equity incentive plans; and advise clients on how best to achieve liquidity. We also attend board meetings and offer strategic advice and counseling on important business decisions, as well as guidance on forming and running an effective board of directors and board of advisors.

Our lawyers represent a variety of life sciences and technology companies, including those in industries such as:

  • artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • big data
  • biotechnology
  • clean technology
  • consumer internet
  • cybersecurity
  • digital media, marketing and sales
  • energy
  • FinTech
  • hardware
  • healthcare
  • material science
  • medical device
  • mobile technology
  • robotics
  • software

In addition to our corporate experience, we are able to tap into the deep knowledge of our attorneys who hold degrees in a variety of technical and scientific fields. As a result, we have a sophisticated understanding of the important technical and intellectual property issues facing companies in these sectors.

Venture Capital

WilmerHale represents both venture-backed companies and venture capital firms in industries such as big data and data analytics, software as a service, FinTech, digital media, cybersecurity, semiconductors and electronics, telecommunications, life sciences, biotechnology, medical devices and many others. We are counsel to more venture-backed companies in the eastern half of the United States than any other law firm in the country, and have a growing presence on the West Coast and in the European and Israeli venture capital communities.

Our extensive experience with emerging companies allows us to efficiently manage standard venture capital financings and effectively navigate more complex transactions. In 2016, we served as counsel in approximately 250 venture financings raising nearly $3 billion, including some of the largest and most prominent deals of the year. Since 2006, we have handled more than 2,800 venture financings with total proceeds in excess of $35 billion.

We have represented venture capitalists for more than five decades and have assisted some of the earliest venture capital firms in their initial investments. Today, we represent many premier venture capital firms in portfolio investments.

Our practical, problem-solving approach and our collective experience, which comprises the insights of more than 120 lawyers with technical and scientific degrees, enable us to cost-effectively protect investors' interests. As a result, we can conduct sophisticated due diligence—including landscape analyses of competitors' patents, clearance studies and patent portfolio audits—and provide opinions and advice regarding patentability, infringement, validity and freedom to operate.

WilmerHale represents numerous venture capital funds, hedge funds, real estate investment partnerships, REITs and other investment entities in connection with all aspects of their organization, management, operation and regulatory compliance. Our fund clients also draw on the extensive resources of our corporate, litigation, private client, tax and other practices for their investment activities and internal management and administration needs.

Transactions

We have represented:

  • Accion Systems, a space technology startup led by MIT graduates, in raising $7.5 million in Series A funding
  • Altiostar Networks, a company providing solutions for the mobile broadband industry, in its $60 million venture capital financing
  • Andela Inc., a startup that identifies the most talented individuals in Africa, shapes them into world-class developers and pairs them with the world's leading tech companies, in its $24 million Series B funding round
  • Aushon BioSystems, a global provider of protein biomarket measurement and analysis products and services, in its initial closing of a $6.14 million Series C financing
  • Bark & Co., the company behind BarkBox, in raising $60 million in new funding
  • Blue Apron, a meal delivery service that provides customers with pre-portioned meals, in its $135 million fourth round financing
  • Civis Analytics, a leader in data science software and services, in its $22 million Series A funding round
  • Dedrone, an automated software-based drone detection platform, in its $10 million Series A funding and $15 million Series B funding
  • Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative ophthalmic products, in the closing of a $68 million Series C preferred stock financing
  • Kite Hill, a brand that makes plant-based cheeses, yogurts, cream cheese-style spreads and other dairy analogue products, in an $18 million funding round
  • Nearpod, an education tech startup, in its $21 million Series B funding round
  • Quilt, a venture offering self-service online insurance products, in raising $3.25 million in seed funding
  • Soft Robotics, a robotics company designing pneumatic grippers and control systems to automate bin picking, order fulfillment and other material handling tasks, in its initial $3 million tranche of its Series A financing
  • The Muse, an online career resource, in the closing of a $16 million round of financing
  • TransMedics, Inc., a medical technology company dedicated to improving quality, assessing viability and increasing the utilization of donor organs for transplantation, in its closing of $51.2 million growth equity financing
  • UNTUCKit, a leading direct-to-consumer apparel brand, in raising $30 million in new funding
  • WorkMarket, an online platform and marketplace for businesses to manage consultants, in the closing of a $25 million Series D financing
  • Zaius, a CRM built for the scale and velocity of business-to-consumer markets, in its closing of an $8 million investment

In addition, we represent investors such as Advanced Technology Ventures, Atlas Venture, Clarus Ventures, Flagship Ventures, Matrix Partners, MPM Capital, New Leaf Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Sofinnova Ventures and many others.

Publications & News

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February 8, 2018

WilmerHale Reps Startup Yoshi in $13.7M Series A Round Led by General Motors Ventures and ExxonMobil

Yoshi, Inc., which provides subscription service for on-site car maintenance and gas delivery, announced that it closed $13.7 million in Series A funding to further accelerate its rapid growth.

February 7, 2018

Law360 Names WilmerHale a Technology Group of the Year for Second Consecutive Year

The firm has been recognized for the second consecutive year by Law360 as a Technology Practice Group of the year for its knowledge and ability to serve the vast needs of today's most innovative technology companies.

February 7, 2018

Entrepreneurs Look to Angels and Micro-VCs for Cash

An article written by Glenn Luinenburg, published by Xconomy on February 5, 2018, discussing trends in angel funding and practical advice for founders who want to get to the next level.

January 30, 2018

Should Startups Extend the Window to Exercise Options?

David Gammell, in this article published by Xconomy, discusses key factors for founders to consider when making decisions regarding how and when to grant stock options to employees.

January 29, 2018

HSR Size of Transaction Threshold to Increase to $84.4 Million

The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") announced revised thresholds for merger notifications under the Hart-Scott-Rodino ("HSR") Act.

January 25, 2018

WilmerHale Reps WorkMarket in Acquisition by ADP

On January 22, 2018, ADP® announced the acquisition of WorkMarket, a leading cloud-based workforce management solution provider that allows companies to build and manage an integrated workforce across W-2 employees, 1099 contractors, vendors and other types of workers.

January 23, 2018

Flywire Expands Global Payments Platform with the Addition of OnPlanU and OnPlan Health

On January 18, 2018, WilmerHale client Flywire, a provider of global payment and receivables solutions for education, healthcare and business, announced the acquisition of OnPlan Holdings LLC, the parent company of OnPlanU and OnPlan Health.

January 23, 2018

WilmerHale Represents Skyword in Raising $25M to Fuel Growth and Market Expansion

Skyword, the leading content marketing software and services company, announced that it has raised $25 million in growth equity from Rho Acceleration, a division of Rho Capital Partners.

January 19, 2018

WilmerHale Represents Pandion Therapeutics in $58M Series A Financing

On January 18, 2018, Pandion Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company developing bispecific antibody therapeutics to achieve localized immunomodulation, announced its $58 million Series A financing.

January 8, 2018

Five WilmerHale Clients Among PULSE@MassChallenge 2018 Cohort of Top Digital Health Startups

WilmerHale is proud to have five startup clients named to the list of digital health startups joining the 2018 PULSE@MassChallenge cohort. These clients were selected from more than 500 applicants from around the world.

2017 Reports

WilmerHale's annual IPO, Venture Capital and M&A Reports offer insights into market conditions and provide comprehensive statistics and analysis that are hard to find elsewhere.

Our 2017 IPO Report offers a detailed IPO market review and outlook, plus useful market metrics and articles on topics of interest, including:

  • Rates of adoption of JOBS Act relief by emerging growth companies
  • The potential impact of the new presidential administration on policy and direction at the US Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Changes in the IPO process over the past two decades
  • The growing divide between the governance practices of IPO companies and established public companies
  • The profusion of recommended corporate governance best practices public companies are under pressure to adopt in the current environment
  • Multi-class capital structures
  • Tips for living with the IPO “quiet period”
  • New Securities Act exemptions that have expanded the pre-IPO financing toolkit
  • Post-IPO financing alternatives
  • The challenges and benefits of pursuing a dual track to liquidity

The 2017 Venture Capital Report offers an in-depth US venture capital market review and outlook, including industry and regional breakdowns, as well as a look at the following issues:

  • Steps startups should take now if they plan to secure a Series A round in 2017
  • Common structures for management carve-out plans
  • Best practices for private companies setting option exercise prices
  • The benefits of investing in qualified small business stock
  • Trends in venture capital financing terms, convertible debt terms and VC-backed company M&A deal terms

Our 2017 M&A Report provides a detailed global M&A market review and outlook, as well as insights on the following topics:

  • Takeover defenses for public companies
  • Key lessons for buyers and sellers considering earnouts
  • Recent developments in merger control regulation
  • Common interest privilege protection among deal parties
  • Special considerations in California M&A deals
  • Acquisition financial statement requirements for IPO companies
  • A comparison of deal terms in public and private acquisitions
  • Key terms and issues in sales of VC-backed companies

Each report also includes a center spread showcasing prominent recent transactions in each area and company counsel rankings from independent sources showing WilmerHale's preeminence as counsel in IPOs, VC financings and sales of VC-backed companies.

To request copies, contact the WilmerHale Client Development Department or call +1 617 526 5600. 

QuickLaunch Program

WilmerHale's QuickLaunch Program is a platform for qualified startups and entrepreneurs to receive the critical guidance and legal advice they need to get off the ground and gain a competitive advantage. QuickLaunch members have access to a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who face many of the same challenges related to their new ventures.

Additional benefits include: 

  • introductions to venture capitalists, angels and other investors;
  • access to potential recruits, mentors, advisors and preferred providers;
  • an audience of peers and influencers to help refine and promote your startup;
  • invitations to our private QuickLaunch events in Boston, New York and Silicon Valley;
  • legal guidance on everything from company formation, expansion and patent protection to securing financing and exit strategies; and
  • the ability to manage costs through free services and deferred, fixed and/or discounted rates.

Through the QuickLaunch Program, our lawyers leverage their institutional knowledge and deep experience to deliver services on a responsive and efficient basis.

Contact us to learn more.