Venture capital and emerging companies in United States
With an established base in Silicon Valley, Cooley LLP stands out in the venture capital and emerging company sectors for its wide-ranging expertise in the sphere. The practice has very strong expertise in assisting a solid client base of start-up companies drawn from the life sciences and tech sectors. In a major highlight, Santa Monica-based Dave Young led the advice to media personality Kylie Jenner on selling a 51% stake of her cosmetics company (with an aggregate value of $600m) to beauty company Coty as part of a strategic partnership. San Diego-based senior counsel Fred Muto and Mark Tanoury in Palo Alto are highly regarded practitioners. In Reston, Mike Lincoln heads up the business department, while Boston-based Pat Mitchell and Matt Bartus, who relocated to the firm's Singapore office in January 2020, share leadership of the emerging companies practice.
SoftBank Vision Fund
Lightspeed Venture Partners
- Assisted SoftBank Vision Fund with its $940m investment in Nuro, a robotics company that develops autonomous delivery vehicles.
- Advised Mattermost, an open source messaging platform, on its $50m Series B financing led by investment fund Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund.
- Acted for US-based e-commerce company Casper Sleep in its $100m Series D financing round, bringing the company’s total funding to $1.1bn.
- Advised restaurant chain Sweetgreen on a $150m financing round, co-led by Lone Pine Capital and D1 Capital Partners.
- Acted for US-based subscription meal delivery service Sun Basket in its $30m Series E financing led by venture capital firm PivotNorth Capital.
With offices in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Santa Monica, Fenwick & West LLP's team has notable strength on the West Coast, where it maintains its established presence in growth company and early-stage financings matters. New York is another core base for the group. Life sciences and technology mandates form the backbone of the practice, with digital health and fintech matters also featuring prominently in the group's recent workload. Recent highlights include Michael Esquivel advising Calm.com, a developer of a mental health app, on its $88m Series B financing, bringing the company's total funding to $1bn; this allowed the client to reach unicorn status, making it the World's First Mental Health Unicorn. The highly regarded attorney Cynthia Hess co-leads the practice with Mark Leahy. Gordon Davidson has an excellent reputation for his expertise in the sphere. Other key partners include gaming sector expert Mark Stevens; San Francisco-based Samuel Angus; and Steven Levine, who advises startup tech companies on a range of matters. Michael Brown is a key name in the firm's newly established Santa Monica office. All named lawyers are based in Silicon Valley unless otherwise stated. In March 2019 Kristine Di Bacco moved to the Toronto office of Torys.
Other key lawyers:
‘Michael Brown is thorough and responsive‘.
- Represented Freenome, an AI genome biotech company, in its $160m Series B financing round led by RA Capital Management and Polaris Partners, bringing the company’s total funding to $238m.
- Advised travel management platform TripActions on its $250m Series D financing, led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Zeev Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Group 11; the firm had previously assisted the client with its $154m Series C financing round.
- Acted for GitLab, a DevOps platform, in its $268m Series E financing, led by Goldman Sachs and ICONIQ.
- Advised Bill.com, a business payments network, on an $88m financing round led by Franklin Templeton.
- Represented carsharing company Turo in its $250m Series E financing.
Goodwin's bicoastal practice has established capabilities in handling work from the life sciences sector, however the firm is also adept at tech and cybersecurity matters. The team acted for biopharmaceutical company AlloVir in its $120m Series B financing led by Fidelity Management and Research Company. Mitchell Bloom leads the life sciences practice; Silicon Valley's Anthony McCusker, Kenneth Gordon and John Egan co-lead the technology team. Bill Schnoor and Kingsley Taft are also noted. Named attorneys are based in Boston unless otherwise stated.
- Represented ElevateBio in its $150m Series A financing.
- Represented micromobility company Lime in its $310m Series D financing round.
- Assisted Century Therapeutics with its formation and launch into the emerging company market via a $250m Series A financing round.
Gunderson Dettmer LLP
Gunderson Dettmer LLP's practice operates from the firm's offices in Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, San Francisco and San Diego, and has an excellent reputation for advising emerging companies on multimillion-dollar venture financings. The team is advising Cornershop, a grocery delivery startup based in Latin America with operations in Canada, on the acquisition of a majority stake in the company by Uber. Boston-based Marc Dupre leads the practice; Silicon Valley-based firm founders Scott Dettmer and Robert Gunderson are renowned practitioners in the sphere. Other key contacts are Richard Hesp in Boston; Silicon Valley's Andrew Luh, who has extensive experience in M&A; Ivan Gaviria in Silicon Valley; and New York-based Steve Baglio, who advises venture-backed companies from a range of industries. In January 2020 Ward Breeze left the firm.
Other key lawyers:
- Acted for HotelTonight, a hotel booking service, in its acquisition by Airbnb.
- Represented software company UiPath in its $568m Series D financing round, bringing the company’s total funding to $7bn.
- Advised Flexport on a $1bn investment, which was led by SoftBank.
- Assisted DoorDash, an on-demand food ordering platform, with its $600m Series G financing.
- Acted for real estate company Compass in its $370m Series G financing.
Latham & Watkins LLP's team is 'cohesive from coast to coast', and stands out for its strength in assisting clients with all aspects of the life-cycle of emerging companies. Technology and life sciences are notable areas of expertise for the group; recent highlights include advising Neurogene on its $68.5m Series A financing round, in order to develop gene therapy programs. Boston-based John Chory and Benjamin Potter in Silicon Valley co-lead the emerging companies practice. In Silicon Valley, Patrick Pohlen and life sciences expert Alan Mendelson are also key contacts. Boston-based Susan Mazur is also recommended.
‘The team is cohesive from coast to coast‘.
‘Benjamin Potter is a true star‘.
- Acted for TravelPerk in its $60m Series C-1 financing round.
- Represented Tealium in its $55m Series F financing round led by late-stage growth capital fund Silver Lake.
- Assisted Andreessen Horowitz with its investment in the Series D financing of energy tech startup RigUp, which raised $300m.
- Represented Desktop Metal in its $160m Series E financing round led by Koch Disruptive Technologies.
- Assisted Andreessen Horowitz with its investment in the Series B financing of San Francisco-based startup Synapse, which raised $33m.
International law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has established strength in digital health, biotech and medical devices, and reports an uptick in fintech mandates. Highlights included acting for medical devices company CarePredict in its $9.5m Series A financing from Secocha Ventures, Las Olas Ventures, and Startup Health Ventures, and representing CapitalG as lead investor in the $100m Series D financing of Collibra. The practice is jointly led by Boston-based Michael Conza and Steven Cohen in Princeton. Julio Vega, who represents tech and life sciences startups and emerging growth companies, is a notable name in the Boston office.
Other key lawyers:
Samsung Venture Investment Corporation
Cambridge Mobile Telematics
- Acted for technology company The Predictive Index in its $50m Series B financing led by venture capital firm General Catalyst.
- Acted for software company 128 Technology in its $30m Series D financing round.
- Acted for payment processing company SpotOn in its $40m Series A preferred stock financing led by Franklin Templeton and Dragoneer Investment Group.
- Represented travel management company Lola.com in its $37m Series C financing, led by General Catalyst and Accel.
Life sciences mandates form the backbone of Morrison & Foerster LLP's practice, with healthcare, technology and fintech matters also prominent in the team's workload. In 2019 the firm opened an office in Boston which houses Ori Solomon, who joined from Proskauer Rose LLP; Solomon represented Lux Capital in its $50m Series C financing of Cala Health. Other highlights include Steve Rowles in San Diego acting for Geneos Therapeutics in its $10m Series A financing. Solomon and Rowles share leadership of the practice with San Francisco-based Murray Indick. In Palo Alto, Timothy Harris is well known for his extensive experience in advising start-ups and investors. In October 2019 Thomas Knox moved to the Washington DC office of King & Spalding LLP.
Other key lawyers:
New Enterprise Associates
Aira Tech Corp
ARCH Venture Partners
Hambrecht Ducera Growth Venture Management
- Assisted Quadrille Capital with Luits investment in the Series D-1 financing of online catering company ezCater, which raised $150m.
- Advised ARCH Venture Partners on its $68m Series B financing of Karuna Therapeutics.
- Advised AI company Fuel50 on its $14m Series B financing.
- Acted for SoftBank Group in the $250m Series D financing of QuintoAndar, a Brazilian real estate technology developer.
- Assisted Visa with its investment in the $250m Series C financing of digital payments start-up Plaid.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP's practice garners praise for its 'deep expertise and experience working with tech firms', particularly US-based unicorn entities, and has been kept busy handling high-value financing mandates from clients in, among other areas, the fintech, automotive technology, and data industries. The 'incredibly responsive and knowledgeable' team is jointly led by Stephen Venuto and San-Francisco based Amanda Galton. Other notable partners are Santa Monica-based Josh Pollick ('an excellent lawyer'); Peter Fusco in New York, who advises tech clients on the whole life-cycle of a company; global chairman Mitchell Zuklie, who has extensive experience in venture capital financings; Don Keller, who is highly regarded for his expertise in advising technology companies; and John Bautista, noted for advising investor clients. Unless stated otherwise, all named attorneys are based in Silicon Valley.
‘Orrick has deep expertise and experience working with tech firms‘.
‘The team is incredibly responsive and knowledgeable‘.
‘Josh Pollick is an excellent lawyer‘.
‘Josh Pollick has been a tremendous leader and innovative thinker. His cool, calm demeanor is extraordinarily helpful‘.
- Advised San Francisco fintech startup Stripe on its $100m Series F financing round.
- Acted for Darsana Capital as the lead investor in a $600m Series G preferred stock financing of food delivery startup DoorDash.
- Assisted PlayVS with its $50m Series C funding.
- Advised FabFitFun on its $80m Series A financing round, bringing the company’s total valuation to $1.05bn.
- Assisted on-demand storage startup Clutter with its $200m Series D financing round.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati's practice is highly regarded for its extensive expertise in the venture capital and emerging company space, especially for assisting later-stage emerging companies with multibillion-dollar deals. Firm chairman Larry Sonsini and Steven Bochner have excellent reputations in the sector. Other key names are Michael Danaher and Jeffrey Saper.
The 'always available' team at Dentons maintains a solid presence in the venture capital and emerging growth sector from its offices in Los Angeles, New Jersey and New York. Fintech, digital health, AI and cybersecurity matters have been prominent in the team's workload. Recent work includes advising Merlin Ventures on its investment into the Series B financing of security orchestration, automation and response company Swimlane, which raised $35m. New York-based Victor Boyajian leads the practice.
‘The team is always available‘.
Revel Venture Partners
- Represented Budderfly in its $1.5m Series B-3 financing from investment company Balance Point Capital.
- Assisted Catalyst OrthoScience with its Series C-1 financing round, which raised $12.7m.
- Acted for Closed Loop Ventures, a fund that makes early-stage equity investments in circular economy startups, in an early-stage investment into Chilean start-up Algramo for expansion into the US.
- Acted for Circle Media Labs in its $20m Series B financing round.
DLA Piper LLP (US)'s 'business savvy' team is 'prompt to respond, thoughtful in those responses, and always willing to lend a hand'. Key areas of instruction for the practice include tech, fintech and life sciences matters. Northern Virginia's Jeffrey Lehrer leads the team; other key names include of counsel Matthew VanderGoot, also in Northern Virginia; Silicon Valley's Mark Radcliffe; Randy Socol in San Diego, whose client base includes emerging growth companies and venture capital firms; and Seattle-based Trenton Dykes, who garners praise for his 'great sense of practical risk analysis and thoughtful recommendations'. In November 2019 Louis Lehot left to set up his own firm.
‘The team is prompt to respond, thoughtful in those responses, and always willing to lend a hand‘.
‘Trenton Dykes has a great sense of practical risk analysis and thoughtful recommendations‘.
SoftBank Vision Fund
New Enterprise Associates
Sailing Capital Overseas Investments Management
Samsung Venture Investment
HP Tech Ventures
- Advised Qualcomm on its investment in OneWeb in a financing round which raised $1.25bn.
- Represented SalesLoft in its $70m Series D financing.
- Assisted Silicon Valley Bank with its investment in a $200m Series E-2 financing of OpenDoor Labs.
Hogan Lovells US LLP's 'efficient and effective' team has been advising investor clients on technology and healthcare sector matters. Recent work for the group includes acting for New Enterprise Associates as the lead investor in the $31m Series A financing of biopharmaceutical company Tiburio. San Francisco's Jon Layman and Nathaniel Gallon in Silicon Valley are the key contacts.
‘Efficient and effective‘.
Norwest Venture Partners
Ford Motor Company
Updata Partners V
New Enterprise Associates
- Represented Norwest Venture Partners as lead investor in the $25m Series B financing of AI company Algorithmia.
- Acted for Updata Partners V as lead investor in the Series B financing round for technology company Piano, which raised $22m.
- Acted for Norwest Venture Partners as lead investor in the $20m Series B financing of analytics company Productiv.
- Represented Norwest Venture Partners as lead investor in the $60m Series D financing of InfluxData.
Jones Day's bicoastal practice has notable strength in advising financial services, life sciences, healthcare and tech sector clients on a range of financing mandates. Timothy Curry, who is based in the Bay Area, and San Diego-based Taylor Stevens assisted KKR with its investment in OneStream Software, bringing the company's final valuation to over $1bn. Additionally, Stevens led the advice to investment firm Koch Disruptive Technologies, as lead investor, on the $1bn Series D financing of Ibotta, a US-based mobile rewards platform. Practice head Michael Earley is based in the Chicago office.
Adams Street Partners
GIC Special Investments
WilmerHale is very well known for its expertise in handling life sciences sector matters, and also counts fintech, digital health, AI and technology as key areas of strength in the practice. Mick Bain, Lia Der Marderosian, New York-based Gary Schall and Daniel Zimmermann in Palo Alto share leadership of the group. Other notable names include Jason Kropp, who acts for venture capital investors in early- and later-stage financings; Washington DC-based Stephanie Evans, who has experience in assisting emerging companies throughout the whole life-cycle; and corporate law expert Rosemary Reilly. Unless otherwise stated, named attorneys are based in Boston. In September 2019 Peter Buckland departed to venture capital firm Khosla Ventures.
‘Smart people who are dedicated to client service‘.
Blue Danube Systems
General Catalyst Partners
- Advised biotech start-up Werewolf Therapeutics on its $58m Series A financing round, led by Longwood Ventures, MPM Capital, Taiho Ventures and Arkin Bio Ventures.
- Assisted platform therapeutics company Ribometrix with its $7.8m Series A-1 financing round led by Illumina Ventures.
- Represented digital health firm Eko Devices in its $20m Series B financing round led by Artis Ventures Management.
- Represented Ribon Therapeutics in its $65m Series B financing round led by Novartis Venture Fund.
- Advised MineralTree on its $50m Series C financing led by Great Hill Partners.
Brian Goldstein and John Pitfield jointly lead Choate, Hall & Stewart's Boston-based practice, which is highly experienced in advising on life sciences and tech matters; healthcare tech has been predominant in the team's recent workload. Brian Lenihan has expertise in advising healthcare and financial services entities on fintech matters. In March 2019 Laurence Naughton moved to Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.'s Boston office.
Other key lawyers:
Guidepost Growth Equity
Leerink Transformation Partners
Bain Capital Life Sciences
Catalyst Health Ventures
- Assisted Leerink Transformation Partners with a $30m growth equity investment in Irish start-up diagnostics company LetsGetChecked.
- Represented Broadview Ventures, as co-leading investor with Novartis of a syndicate of five investors, in an $11m Series A financing round in biopharmaceutical company Renovacor.
- Assisted Broadview Ventures, as co-investor with Boston Scientific Corporation, with a Series A financing of medical device company Alleviant Medical.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Acting from a solid base in California, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has been kept busy handling investor-side mandates. Highlights included Los Angeles-based practice head Bradford Weirick advising March Capital Partners as the lead investor in the $100m Series C financing round in AI technology company SparkCognition. Ryan Murr in San Francisco is also noted.
Other key lawyers:
Biotechnology Value Fund
Aurora Capital Partners
- Acted for AlphaEdison as the lead investor in a $15.5m Series B financing of Ursa Major Technologies.
- Assisted venture capital firm Higher Grounds Labs with its investment in political technology start-up company BallotReady.
- Advised March Capital Partners as the lead investor in the $15.5m Series B preferred stock financing of Astound, a company selling automated employee help desk services.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP's emerging growth and venture capital team is well established on the West Coast, with attorneys operating from the Silicon Valley, San Diego and San Francisco Bay Area offices. Key areas of instruction for the team include e-commerce, fintech, AI and healthcare matters. In Silicon Valley, Jorge del Calvo led the advice to global online learning platform Coursera on its $103m Series E financing, which established the client's unicorn status. Other key partners are Allison Leopold Tilley, who is also based in the Silicon Valley office, and Christian Salaman in San Diego.
eSUB Construction Software
Vector Launch Corporation
- Advised eSUB Construction Software on its $12m Series B financing round.
- Advised Komprise on its $24m Series C financing round, which was led by Top Tier Ventures.
- Advised SambaNova Systems on its $150m Series B financing round.
- Represented Manticore Games in its $30m Series B financing round.
Covington & Burling LLP
Tom DeFilipps leads the team at Covington & Burling LLP, which is notably strong in advising a solid client base of life sciences companies on early- to later-stage financing mandates, and reports an uptick in tech-based matters. Recent highlights include acting for Gilead Sciences in the $110m preferred stock financing of genome editing company Precision Biosciences; San Francisco-based Ingrid Rechtin led on this matter. Other notable names include Scott Anthony and Catharina Min. Apart from Rechtin, all named lawyers are based in Palo Alto.
Bessemer Venture Partners
- Represented Bessemer Venture Partners, as lead investor, in the €30m Series C financing of fintech cloud platform Mambu.
- Acted for a prominent South Korean company as lead investor in the $100m Series D financing of Kinestral Technologies.
- Advised artificial intelligence insurance start-up Flyreel on its $3.85m seed financing round led by Gradient Ventures.
Primarily based in Silicon Valley, King & Spalding LLP's group has solid expertise in handling tech and life sciences deals. Judy O’Brien and San Francisco-based Geoff Leonard share leadership of the practice; Laura Bushnell is a key contact for representing investors and private companies in venture capital financing mandates. In October 2019 Thomas Knox joined the Washington DC office from Morrison & Foerster LLP's Northern Virginia office.
Synapse Financial Technologies
Virtual Power Systems
- Acted for Virtual Power Systems in its $17m Series B financing round led by CUI Global.
- Assisted Theatro Labs with the closing of its $15m Series B-1 preferred stock financing.
- Acted for Heartflow in an equity financing round, led by nine investors, which raised $65m.
- Advised KIYATEC on the closing of its $3m Series B2 financing round, which was led by VentureSouth and included LabCorp.
- Represented Synapse Financial Technologies in the closing of its $33m Series B preferred stock financing, which was led by venture capital company Andreessen Horowitz.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP's practice is well known in the market for assisting clients from within the life sciences sector with early- to later-stage financings, and has also been kept busy handling an increased number of mandates from the fintech industry. Matthew Mohn, based in the Pittsburgh office, leads the group, which includes Silicon Valley-based technology expert Donald Reinke and the 'very helpful' Deborah Gunny in Century City.
‘Deborah Gunny is very helpful‘.
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth's venture capital and emerging growth companies practice primarily operates from the firm's offices in Newport Beach, San Diego and Santa Monica. Healthcare tech mandates have been prominent in the team's recent workload, as well as assisting with, among others, biotechnology, media and fintech matters. Highlights included advising Flying L Partners on its investment into a $93m Series B financing round in Oyster Point Pharma. Mark Skaist, who is based in Newport Beach, and Santa Monica-based Ryan Azlein jointly head the practice. Other key lawyers include San Diego's Amit Singh and Bruce Feuchter in Newport Beach.
‘Mark Skaist is fantastic to work with‘.
Act One Ventures
Flying L Partners
- Represented private equity investment firm ROCA Partners as the lead investor in the $25m Series A preferred stock financing of Riviera Partners.
- Advised Transient Plasma Systems on the closing of its Series A preferred stock financing, which received an $8.5m investment from venture capital firm Kairos Venture Partners II.
- Assisted Vertos Medical with the closing of its Series B preferred stock financing, valued at $27.5m.
- Represented skincare company Herbivore in its $15m Series A financing round, led by Silas Capital.
- Assisted venture capital fund Sightlife II with its investment into a Series B financing round for CorneaGen.