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Substantial Increases Revealed in Fenwick & West Venture Capital Survey

Mountain View, CA (May 16, 2014) – Fenwick & West, 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 2014 Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey.

The survey analyzed the valuations and terms of venture financings for 156 technology and life science companies headquartered in the Silicon Valley that raised capital in the first quarter of 2014.

“During the first quarter of 2014, up rounds exceeded down rounds 76% to 8%, with 16% flat.  This was an increase from the fourth quarter of 2013, when up rounds exceeded down rounds 71% to 16%, with 13% flat, and the largest difference between up rounds and down rounds (68 points) since the second quarter of 2007,” 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 percentage change in share price of companies funded during the quarter compared with the share price of their previous financing round – showed an 85% average price increase for the quarter, a significant increase from the 57% reported in the fourth quarter of 2013.  The median price increase of those financings was 52%, another significant increase from the 27% recorded in the fourth quarter, and the largest increase since we began calculating medians in 2004.

“The best performing industries in the quarter from a valuation perspective were internet/digital media and software, which had median price increases of 78% and 72%, respectively, compared to 50% and 36% in the fourth quarter of 2013, while hardware, life sciences and cleantech had median increase of 23%, 23% and 28%, respectively, in the first quarter,” added Michael Patrick, also a partner in the Corporate Group of Fenwick & West and co-author of the survey.

“At the big picture level, it was a very strong quarter for the venture environment, with venture investment, IPOs and fundraising all hitting multi-year highs,” added Patrick.  “But public technology companies have had a difficult time recently, and it remains to be seen if this trend will continue, and if so what the effect will be on the venture environment.”

Complete results of the survey with related discussion are posted on Fenwick & West’s website at

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 11 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 exclusively on trends in venture financing and valuations, the Fenwick & West Survey complements the economic data presented by Dow Jones VentureSource 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.

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