Emerging Company and Venture Capital
We work with founders to properly set up their companies; review business plans and identify 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 robotics, big data, biotechnology, cybersecurity, digital health, energy, FinTech, hardware and software, medical devices, and mobile technology, amongst others.
In addition to our corporate experience, we are able to tap into the deep knowledge of the more than 120 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 any of these sectors.
WilmerHale represents both venture-backed companies and venture capital firms in industries such as artificial intelligence and robotics, big data, biotechnology, cybersecurity, digital health, energy, FinTech, hardware and software, medical devices, and mobile technology, amongst 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 on behalf of investors. 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 in both corporate and intellectual property issues 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.
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 legal expenses cost-effectively using technology solutions 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.
2019 Venture Capital Report—An In-Depth US Venture Capital Market Review and OutlookPublications
Representing investors such as Advanced Technology Ventures, Atlas Venture, Bessemer Venture Partners, Flagship Pioneering, General Catalyst Partners, Matrix Partners, New Leaf Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Sofinnova Ventures and many others in venture financings.
Represented AdsWizz, an adtech startup focusing exclusively on digital audio advertising, in its acquisition by Pandora, the world’s most powerful music discovery platform, through a reverse triangular merger.
Represented BioCatch, a global leader in behavioral biometrics, in a $30 million financing round led by Maverick Ventures.
Represented Zaius, the CRM built for B2C marketers, in its $30 million Series B investment round led by Insight Venture Partners.
Represented Acumatica, the world’s fastest-growing ERP software company, in its $25 million Series C financing led by Accel-KKR.
Represented ExecOnline, a leading provider of online leadership development programs, in its $18 million Series C funding round led by ABS Capital Partners, and previously in its Series B funding round.
Represented WeWork Companies, a global network of workspaces, in its acquisition of Teem Technologies.
Represented Capella Space, a startup planning a constellation of radar imaging satellites, in its $19 million Series B funding round led by Spark Capital and Data Collective.
Represented Cape Analytics, a provider of AI-enabled property intelligence, in its $17 million in a Series B financing round led by XLInnovate, and previously in its $14 million Series A financing round.
Represented Cedar Inc., a patient financial management platform for hospitals, health systems and independent medical groups, in its $36 million Series B fundraising round led by Kinnevik.
Represented Stash, a financial technology platform revolutionizing investment and financial literacy across the US, in its $38 million Series D financing, and previously in its $40 million Series C financing.
Represented Generation Bio, a company developing the first genetic medicines that can be titrated to effect and re-dosed for a lifetime of benefit, in a $100 million Series B financing, and previously in its $25 million Series A financing.
Represented Visterra, a clinical-stage biotechnology company that uses its novel Hierotope platform to identify unique disease targets and to design and engineer precision antibody-based biological medicines against them, in its $46.7 million Series C financing round, including a new extension totaling $23.6 million.
Represented 1366 Technologies, a developer of manufacturing solutions for silicon cell manufacturers, in its $9 million in Series D funding from strategic partners and return investors.
Represented Fulcrum Therapeutics, a company focused on unlocking gene control mechanisms to develop small molecule therapies, in its launch and its $55 million Series A financing (and Series A extension with Google Ventures) and $80 million Series B financing in support of its lead programs in fragile x syndrome and fascioscapularhumeral muscular dystrophy.
Represented UnifyID, a company leading the development of an implicit authentication platform that requires zero conscious user actions, in its $20 million Series A led by New Enterprise Associates.
Represented UNTUCKit, a leading direct-to-consumer apparel brand, in a $30 million fundraising round led by Kleiner Perkins. UNTUCKit will use this funding to open 15 new stores, expand its women’s line and launch children’s apparel. According to sources, the deal values the company at around $200 million.
Represented Trevi Therapeutics, a late-stage clinical development company focused on treatments for chronic itch, in its $50 million Series C financing led by New Enterprise Associates.
Recognized as a Top Firm in the Nation for Startups & Emerging Companies
Recommended for Venture Capital and Emerging Companies
The Legal 500 United States
Named a Leading Law Firm for Venture Capital Law
U.S. News - Best Lawyers®
- American Lawyer – The 2017 Corporate Scorecard report ranked WilmerHale among the top five law firms handling IPOs for issuers based on the number of transactions in 2016.
- Best Lawyers in America – Recognized 114 WilmerHale partners for 2019, naming nine as “Lawyers of the Year,” including Jay Bothwick as Boston Mergers and Acquisitions Law Lawyer of the Year and David Westenberg as Boston Information Technology Law Lawyer of the Year.
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Named our corporate practice among the best in 2012–2019, with sources saying that WilmerHale provides “excellent service and quality advice and representation” and is “very knowledgeable” with “a deep wealth of information on matters impacting rapidly growing venture-backed startups.” The 2019 edition of Chambers USA also ranked WilmerHale in the following regions and practices: nationwide for Startups & Emerging Companies; California for Venture Capital; Massachusetts for Corporate/M&A, Private Equity: Venture Capital Investment and Technology; and Washington DC for Corporate/M&A & Private Equity. WilmerHale was also ranked among the top FinTech law firms in the US in its 2019 FinTech guide.
- Corporate Board Member – In 2014, 2016 and 2018, WilmerHale was named to Top National Corporate Law Firms list, a comprehensive ranking of the top 25 firms in the nation. Results are based on law firm surveys and feedback from thousands of directors and general counsel.
- Lake Whillans – The Life Sciences Law Firm Index included WilmerHale among the top three best life sciences law firms (2016, 2017), as the top firm for startup work (2017), among the top 10 deal firms (2017), as one of the top two patent law firms (2016) and among the top 10 firms for thought leadership (2016).
- Law360 – Named WilmerHale a Technology Practice Group of the Year for 2016–2018, an award recognizing the firm’s key role in the significant matters that made headlines and changed the legal landscape within the past year.
- Super Lawyers – Our corporate lawyers are consistently recognized as “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” in multiple jurisdictions.
- The Legal 500 United States – Recommended WilmerHale’s mergers and acquisitions practice in the areas of antitrust, commercial deals and contracts, corporate governance, M&A middle-market, and venture capital and emerging companies in their 2010–2018 editions.
- U.S. News - Best Lawyers® – In the 2010–2019 “Best Law Firms” rankings, our corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital law practices were ranked in the first tier nationally and in Boston, along with our corporate law practice also being ranked in the first-tier in New York and Washington DC. Our technology law practice was also ranked in the first tier in Boston and in the second tier nationally.