Archive for the ‘Venture Capital’ Category

VC Investment in BioTech MegaHubs and Top R&D Spenders among Big Pharma

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

UPDATED on 4/26/2017

The top 10 pharma R&D budgets in 2016

The Top 10 Pharma R&D Budgets in 2016

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Book traversal links for The top 10 pharma R&D budgets in 2016




Table SOURCE: Thomson Reuters abd ENDPOINTS

According to both sources:

  • $3.5 billion for Silicon Valley plus the Bay Area and
  • $2.8 billion for New England.

Broken down by city, $6.1 billion went to

  • Boston ($2.7 billion),
  • San Jose ($2.5 billion) and
  • San Francisco/Berkeley ($1 billion).
  • San Diego ($725 million),
  • New York ($454 million) and
  • the Great Lakes area ($412 million)


Where the money is: Biotech’s megahubs command VC’s billions by john carrollJune 30, 2016 10:41 AM EDT, Updated: November 17, 2016 07:32 PM

The top 15 spenders in the global drug R&D business: 2017

by john carroll

April 24, 2017 05:22 AM EDT, Updated: 05:27 AM

The top five in the business saw their collective spending jump by more than $5 billion, from 2015 to 2016, based on the annual numbers filed largely — though not entirely — with the SEC and gathered by Endpoints News. Two of those companies,

  • Roche and the new number 2, a hard charging
  • Merck, accounted for the lion’s share of the increase. (To be sure, some onetime non-R&D spending, such as Merck’s patent settlement with Bristol-Myers on Keytruda, figured in. But so did bread and butter spending.)
  • Gilead also saw a significant increase in research costs, with
  • Eli Lilly — now off course following two bad setbacks for solanezumab and baricitinib — and the ever aggressive
  • Celgene joining the action as they pressed the accelerator on new drug programs.

Curiously, the added spending coincided with a bad drop in new drug approvals in 2016. But they don’t correlate, and we’ve already seen that turnaround under way as regulators get busy with a brand new year — and soon a brand new FDA commissioner.



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Income Geographic Distribution in California: Average income per filer by the Top-20 California Counties

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

The top-20 California counties with the most millionaires per square mile


#20: Yolo County: Average income per filer – $2.21M & Total Million $ Filers: 149

#20: Monterey County: Average income per filer – $2.43M & Total Million $ Filers: 429

#18:  Stanislaus County: Average income per filer – $2.35M & Total Million $ Filers: 287

#18:  San Joaquin County: Average income per filer – $2.21M & Total Million $ Filers: 300

#16:  Santa Barbara County: Average income per filer – $2.78M & Total Million $ Filers: 801

#16:  Pacer County: Average income per filer – $2.68M & Total Million $ Filers: 446

#14:  Sonoma County: Average income per filer – $2.64M & Total Million $ Filers: 577

#14:  Napa County: Average income per filer – $2.98M & Total Million $ Filers: 299

#12: Venture County: Average income per filer – $2.61M & Total Million $ Filers: 1,123

#12:  Sacramento County: Average income per filer – $2.34M & Total Million $ Filers: 559

#10:  Santa Cruz County: Average income per filer – $2.74M & Total Million $ Filers: 341

#9:  San Diego County: Average income per filer – $2.7M & Total Million $ Filers: 4,225

#8:  Contra Costa County: Average income per filer – $2.43M & Total Million $ Filers: 2,528

#7:  Alameda County: Average income per filer – $2.52M & Total Million $ Filers: 2,735

#6:  Los Angeles County: Average income per filer – $3.37M & Total Million $ Filers: 16, 507

#5:  Marin County: Average income per filer – $3.03M & Total Million $ Filers: 2,123

#4:  Santa Clara County: Average income per filer – $3.7M & Total Million $ Filers: 7,922

#3:  Orange County: Average income per filer – $3M & Total Million $ Filers: 5,971

#2:  San Mateo County: Average income per filer – $4.1M & Total Million $ Filers: 4,879

#1:  San Francisco County: Average income per filer – $3.5M & Total Million $ Filers: 4,954-Million $ filers per SQ Mile – 105.7



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Institutional Capital Raised by Female Founders in 2016 – A Global Perspective vs the US Economy: Globally 1,272 in the United States 600

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


– See more at:


The Data Reflects Several Key Trends
Key Takeaways

Raising a Series A led by an institutional VC remains difficult, but female founders in NYC continued to be the most successful (compared to those in other cities) in 2016.
At 17%, the percentage of total A rounds led by female CEOs in 2016 represents the highest total percentage since Female Founders Fund started tracking the data in 2013.
In addition, New York saw a record number of Series B and C rounds led by female founders in 2016.
Female Founders Fund remains the most active institutional VC firm investing in early-stage female-led companies.
Funds that have traditionally been uninterested in e-commerce have renewed interest in the e-commerce sector following the Dollar Shave Club and acquisitions by large strategic investors.

2016 Series A Rounds — NYC — Female CEO
Rockets of Awesome — $12.5 million — December — Rachel Blumenthal
Ellevest — $9.0 million — September — Sallie Krawcheck
CoheroHealth — $9.0 million — November — Melissa Manice
Away — $8.5 million — September — Steph Korey
Primary– $8.0 million — June — Galyn Bernard
goTenna — $7.5 million — March — Daniela Perdomo
LOLA — $7.0 million — December — Alex Friedman and Jordana Kier
Uncharted Play — $7.0 million — September — Jessica Matthews
Thrive Global — $7.0 million — August — Arianna Huffington
Everplans — $6.4 million — June — Abby Schneiderman
pymetrics — $6.1 million — February — Frida Polli
Sakara Life — $4.8 million — January — Whitney Tingle, Danielle DuBoise
Shoppable — $3.5 million — August — Heather Marie
MMLaFleur — Sarah LaFleur

2016 Series A Rounds — Bay Area — Female CEO

Cortexyme — $15.0 million — January — Casey Lynch
FOVE — $11.0 million — March — Yuka Kojima
Front — $10.0 million — May — Mathilde Collin
REBBL — $10.0 million — December — Sheryl O’Loughlin
Nima — $9.2 million — May — Shireen Yates
Rocksbox — $8.7 million — March — Meaghan Rose
LaunchDarkly — $8.7 million — December — Edith Harbaugh
Modsy — $8.0 million — February — Shanna Tellerman
ThirdLove — $8.0 million — February — Heidi Zak
Node — $7.5 million — June — Falon Fatemi
Shippo — $7.0 million — September — Laura Behrens Wu
Mobilize — $6.5 million — September — Sharon Savariego
Neurotrack — $6.5 million — January — Elli Kaplan
Sourcery — $5.0 million — September — Na’ama Moran
Luka — $4.4 million — April — Eugenia Kuyda
SupportPay — $4.1 million — December — Sheri Atwood
Zybooks — $4.0 million — February — Smita Bakshi
Schoola — $3.6 million — May — Stacey Boyd

– See more at:



Series A Rounds in 2016

Our 2016 analysis began with an overall review of Series A rounds globally, nationally and regionally.

2017 Research Graph 1

Series A Rounds Raised Globally, Nationally and Regionally in 2016

Series A Rounds in 2016:




2016 Series A Rounds in 2016:

Globally: 1,272
United States: 600
Bay Area: 187
NYC: 84
Boston: 31
Los Angeles: 38
Seattle: 26
Austin: 7
Washington D.C.: 17

2015 Series A Rounds in 2015:

Globally: 1,164

United States: 664

Bay Area: 205

NYC: 96

Boston: 50

Los Angeles: 40

Seattle: 25

Austin: 22

Washington D.C.: 17

– See more at:

The total number of Series A rounds in the U.S. decreased by 10% in 2016. Of the seven regions that we track in the U.S., Seattle is the only region that experienced an increase in the number of Series A raises in 2016, at 4%.

While overall Series A activity declined slightly in Los Angeles, there were two large Series A raises for female-led businesses — (i) HopSkipDrive, led by CEO Joanna McFarland, which raised $10.2 million in January 2016 from Upfront Ventures and FirstMark Capital; and (ii) Hutch, led by CEO Beatrice Fischel-Bock, which raised $5 million in July 2016 from Founders Fund. Los Angeles remains among the most female entrepreneur-friendly cities in the U.S.


VC’s investing in female-led companies in 2016.

Female Founders Fund remained the most active investor, participating in 3 of the 14 — or 21% — of all female-led A rounds in NYC. – See more at:

– See more at:

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On Investment Platforms for Private Funds and Investment Platforms for Private Placements – SEC Update

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


SEC Update

In the last few years, we have seen a number of important developments in the securities laws related to finders and broker-dealer registration requirements. Below we provide an overview of the broker-dealer registration requirement as it relates to finders who assist in matching issuers with investors or buyers and the latest developments in this area.


The distinction between being classified as a finder and a broker-dealer can have significant consequences. An unregistered broker-dealer may face sanctions from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and it may be unable to enforce payment for its services. In addition, transactions involving an unregistered broker-dealer may create a right of rescission in favor of the investors, allowing the investors the right to require the issuer to return the money invested. One example of the consequences of an unregistered broker-dealer occurred in the Ranieri Partners SEC enforcement action. In that action the SEC brought charges against a private-equity firm, its managing director, and a consultant because of the consultant’s failure to register as a broker-dealer. The SEC’s order found that the private equity firm paid transaction-based fees to a consultant, who was not registered as a broker-dealer, for soliciting investors for private fund investments.1

The federal securities laws do not specifically define the term “finder” or outline what finders can do. Instead, finders must avoid being deemed a broker or dealer under the federal securities laws unless they register as such with the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). A broker is defined as “any person engaged in the business of effecting transactions in securities for the accounts of others.”2 A dealer is defined as a person that is “engaged in the business of buying and selling securities … for such person’s own account,” but excludes a person that buys and sells securities for its own account, but not as part of a regular business.3Because the broker definition is the one that finders have the most trouble with, this discussion is focused on what activities may cause a finder to fall within the definition of a broker required to register with the SEC and FINRA.

  • M&A Brokers
  • FINRA Guidance
  • Investment Platforms for Private Placements
  • Investment Platforms for Private Funds
  • Crowdfunding
  • Potential Regulatory Action

A determination of whether an intermediary is acting as a finder or an unregistered broker-dealer is a very fact-specific analysis and can often be very complex. Unfortunately for unwary entrepreneurs, company executives, and equity fund sponsors, frequently a third party assisting with capital-raising will be acting as a broker-dealer, not a finder, and therefore should not be engaged unless properly registered. It is likely that we will see further clarification or new rules from regulators in the future; regardless, it is important to always carefully consider the involvement of finders or broker-dealers in any capital-raising endeavor.

If you have any questions regarding the use of finders, or capital raising in general, please contact the Venable lawyer with whom you work, one of the authors of this article, or a member of our Corporate Finance and Securities Group.


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2017 Top 50 in Digital Health by Rock Health

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


We found the following to be very interesting:


Most Prolific Corporate VC

UPMC Enterprises

UPMC Enterprises, the commercialization arm of UPMC, is shaping the future of health care through innovation. Focused on generating impactful technology solutions, they invest in key focus areas: clinical tools, population health, consumer-centric health care, and business services and infrastructure. As the most active corporate venture investor of the year in digital health, UPMC contributed to several funding rounds including investments in Health Catalyst and Lantern.

Most Prolific VC

Khosla Ventures

Khosla Ventures helps entrepreneurs with large problems that are amenable to technology solutions. A longtime tech and healthcare investor, Khosla Ventures participated in five digital health deals this year, including Neurotrack and Color Genomics.

Best Performing IPO

Evolent Health

Evolent Health partners with health systems to accelerate their transformation to value-based care. By integrating the people, processes, and technology needed to drive clinical and financial growth, Evolent has found the secret to success—it is one of the digital health stocks with the biggest returns YTD, up 114% since the start of the year.

Crowdfunding Hero

BSX Technologies: LVL

LVL is the first wearable hydration monitor that gives users the complete picture of their health by also tracking activity, sleep, mood, and heart rate. Their wildly successful Kickstarter campaignresulted in over $1.1 million pledged of their $50,000 goal, and backers will soon be able to measure their hydration in real time. Fewer than 200 crowd funding campaigns have ever raised over $1 million.


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We’re seeing an acceleration of M&A activity and a growing IPO pipeline through the end of 2016, but the bar remains high.


Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


Here’s what one top VC firm predicts will happen to tech startups in 2017

Accel is an early & growth-stage venture capital firm and is known for its investments in Facebook, Slack, and Dropbox. This is the firm’s annual presentation on what the tech environment is like for founders today and what will happen in 2017, republished with permission.

  1. It’s an incredible time to be a technology entrepreneur.
  2. A rising “new guard” are officially the most valuable companies in the world: Apple, Alphabet/Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook.
  3. But of course, it’s important to stay disciplined.
  4. We’re seeing an acceleration of M&A activity and a growing IPO pipeline through the end of 2016, but the bar remains high.


*In order as of 11/22/16:

  • Apple — $596B
  • Alphabet/Google — $551B
  • Microsoft — $478B
  • Amazon — $372B
  • Facebook — $348B

**Bloomberg dug into the numbers here too.



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Business Forward Roundtable with John Podesta: Economic Growth and Opportunity

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

July 26, 2016 (Philadelphia, PA)

A Round Table and Q&A with the Entrepreneur Group Business Forward and John Podesta,Chairman and Founder of Center for American Progress on Policy, Economic Growth and Opportunity


With the help of more than 50 of the world’s most respected companies, Business Forward is making it easier for tens of thousands of business leaders from across America to advise Washington on how to create jobs and accelerate our economy. Business Forward is active in over 100 cities and works with more than 450 senior Administration officials, Members of Congress, mayors, and governors.

Business leaders who have participated in our briefings have seen their suggestions implemented in the Affordable Care Act, the Jobs Act, three trade agreements, and every one of the President’s budgets. Many have also shared their recommendations with their representatives in Congress and through op-eds and interviews with local media. Ninety-eight out of 100 business leaders who have participated in a Business Forward briefing would be interested in participating in another one.

Member Companies

Many of America’s largest and most respected firms – from America’s software, telecommunications, media, hospitality, financial services, manufacturing, apparel, defense and pharmaceutical industries – have already joined Business Forward.

Members include Aetna, American Airlines, AT&T, Comcast, Cheniere Energy, Deloitte, Dow, eBay Inc., Fidelity Investments, Facebook, Ford, Google, Intuit, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, the National Restaurant Association, Pacific Gas & Electric, POET, Pricewaterhouse Cooper, Qualcomm, SAS, T-Mobile, Time Warner, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Viacom, Visa, and Walmart.

These corporations work with Business Forward to identify, recruit and brief small business owners, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs of all kinds who are looking for a meaningful way to participate in policy debates.

John Podesta on Economic Policy, Equality and Growth

John Podesta delivered opening remarks at the launch event for the Washington Center for Equitable Growth on November 15, 2013.

Recommendations to Advance Progressive Change

Business Forward Round Table on Economic Strategy and Opportunity Agenda with John Podesta: Policy

John Padesta (JP): We have had an economic bounce back from the recession however it is agreed that wages need to go up in US.  The goal of policy is to return to a more equitable time such as during the 90’s.  The Hillary Clinton campaign is actively reaching out to find out what is happening on all levels of the economy: from small startups to international trade and workers views.

JP: There are five main areas the Clinton campaign is focusing on with regard to economic growth policy

  1.  jobs, investment, create context to spur private-public partnership investments
  2. skills training – human capital
  3. invest in places left behind: promise zones
  4. sustainable growth: allowing workers to share in productivity gains by tax reform, profit sharing
  5. family policy – says they will define this policy later in the week

JP: want to get entrepreneurs more involved with policy decision.  Clear directive from Hillary is that policy requires input from ALL stakeholders in economy in all sectors

There may be a focus on paid leave

Question from audience:  What about the crisis in rural health.

Definitely a problem Ann O’Leary will be heading up the health policy for Clinton campaign



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