Market Insight

Closing Remarks from TechGC's Venture Financings Forum

October 7, 2020

TechGC's 2 -day Venture Financings Forum covered numerous topics to the GC's role in fundraising in a new world. Here are some of the closing takeaways from the event Co-Chairs, Eiric Cheung, Brian Chase, and Laura Lariu.

Eric Cheung, General Counsel, FirstMark Capital

"As we wrap up, I’m reminded of a couple of things that bring me back to these TechGC events. First, notwithstanding that I’ve been beating the drum about keeping the big picture in mind so you don’t miss the forest for the trees, the presentations today really hammered home that there are countless issues to be spotting, each of them layered with nuance.  Some glossed over many of the regulatory and tax considerations at issue when structuring a tender offer and others led a conversation on CFIUS and HSR to set the regulatory landscape. Each of those conversations could have been full day sessions in their own right. We all know this, but the GC job is hard, there’s a lot to juggle.

Thankfully I had the chance to participate in good conversations amidst some familiar faces and some new peers. We shared some varied experiences and the conversation got pulled into some unexpected directions/topics (as often happens when sharing experiences that resonate across the group). My second takeaway is a reminder that the people participating in these sessions are some of our best resources. I’d encourage folks to connect (whether by email, LinkedIn or otherwise) to continue those conversation threads. While the TechGC team does a phenomenal job of curating content from industry leaders, I’ve always gotten the most value from the connections seeded by the TechGC community. "

Brian Chase, General Counsel, Service Channel

"When I mentioned earlier that today we’d have presentations on some curve balls you may see in connection with a financing, you probably thought I was exaggerating.  But I’m sure you now agree after the presentations on secondaries and tender offers and on foreign investment strategies and regulatory issues.  And the last panel provided invaluable insights into negotiating venture terms.   The key takeaway I get from this conference  is that each of us as a GC has the chance to be an asset to our companies in helping navigate these complicated issues along with your business partners, board and outside counsel.  It is comforting to see that members of our TechGC community have faced these issues in the past and are willing to share their experiences with each of us.  If you haven’t already used the TechGC ecosystem to get answers to your questions you should give it a try.  On the flip side, don’t just be a consumer of content.  Participate in discussions and share your experiences and learnings with the group."

Laura Lariu, General Counsel, Relativity Space

"There were so many good takeaways from today that it’s hard to pick one. A few of the sessions picked up on the tip of having your goal in mind when transacting a deal, whether it’s in providing liquidity opportunities and shaping the parameters around that or choosing which investor helps you realize your dream and mission for the company. There was so much valuable information from walking through a term sheet to figuring out how to refine your terms as you get to later stages.

Some mentioned financings and financing alternatives are a good opportunity to shine with your management and Board, and that’s very true. Don’t be shy about using your outside counsel in these deals if you have the opportunity, but also and equally importantly in my view, leverage the experiences of your peers here. As Eric and Brian touched upon, don’t forget the value of connecting with your peers that have been through this in-house and can offer you some good (and free!) guidance. I’ve gotten some really great advice and support from members of this group throughout the years and maybe even commiserate or celebrated with some of you."

TechGC is a private, invitation only organization for General Counsels of leading venture-backed technology companies and venture capital firms. Our mission is to drive innovation, education and mentorship in the legal industry while creating a strong peer group and community whose members support each other throughout their lives and careers. Our membership includes over 1,500 GCs across New York, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle.