NVCA's Kupor: Restrictions on foreign investment could hurt startups | Report: ICOs raised more than $4B last year | Residential rental marketplace Apartment List raises $50M
January 19, 2018
NVCA SmartBrief
News for the startup ecosystem
The Lead
NVCA's Kupor: Restrictions on foreign investment could hurt startups
Proposed legislation that would strengthen controls on foreign direct investment could create unintended barriers for entrepreneurs seeking capital to launch or expand startups, says Scott Kupor, NVCA chair. He suggested several changes to the proposals, including language making it clear that US venture funds wouldn't be automatically reviewed just because they have foreign investors.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/San Jose, Calif. (1/18),  Axios (1/18),  Reuters (1/18) 
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Preqin Special Report: Women in Venture Capital
Across the VC industry, women are underrepresented: only 21% of all VC employees are women. Preqin's latest special report focuses on women's VC activity including women driving change in the VC space, insight into misconduct allegations, and more! Download here
Capital Call
Report: ICOs raised more than $4B last year
Worldwide in 2017, 430 initial coin offerings raised $4.6 billion through November, says a report from the Crypto Valley Association and PwC. Many US entrepreneurs are conducting their ICOs in foreign jurisdictions, and so far, the dominant hubs are Singapore and Switzerland.
VentureBeat (1/18) 
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Residential rental marketplace Apartment List raises $50M
Apartment List, a startup apartment marketplace that says it offers a "personalized, seamless, white-glove experience" for people looking for places to rent, raised $50 million in its most recent funding round. The startup plans to broaden its service beyond large apartment complexes to smaller multifamily properties and single-family homes.
VentureBeat (1/18) 
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Mobile banking startup Varo Money brings in $45M
Varo Money -- a mobile banking startup that doesn't charge for overdrafts, foreign transactions or falling below minimum balances -- raised $45 million in its latest funding round. The startup uses machine learning to spot prospects for loan offers.
TechCrunch (1/18) 
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Cuomo wants N.Y. to tax carried interest as ordinary income
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has offered a bill that would tax carried interest as ordinary income, rather than as capital gains. If approved, the change will not take effect until Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania make similar changes.
Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (1/18) 
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Inside the Beltway
Senate Democrats holding up self-driving vehicle bill
Senior Democratic senators are blocking a vote on a bill intended to help the auto industry develop self-driving vehicles and put them on the nation's streets and highways. Critics including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are concerned about potential safety risks.
Recode (1/18) 
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SEC: Issues need resolution before bitcoin ETFs get OK
Investor-protection issues must be addressed before exchange-traded funds linked to bitcoin are allowed, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC has asked sponsors that have sought approval of bitcoin ETFs to withdraw their applications.
Reuters (1/19),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (1/19) 
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View from Abroad
Ping An Healthcare reportedly raises almost $1B ahead of IPO
Chinese medical startup Ping An Healthcare Management raised nearly $1 billion in a private funding round that gave it an $8.8 billion valuation, two people familiar with the matter said. The startup is preparing for an initial public offering in Hong Kong.
Reuters (1/18) 
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AI startup Rokid reportedly brings in $100M
Chinese artificial intelligence startup Rokid reportedly raised $100 million in its most recent funding round, which was led by Temasek. Products developed by the startup include smart speakers, augmented glasses and a voice assistant.
TechCrunch (1/18) 
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Reserve your spot for the inaugural Stanford/NVCA Venture Capital Symposium
Industry education and best practices remain a focus for NVCA, so we've partnered with Stanford to produce the Stanford/NVCA Venture Capital Symposium on March 13-14. The Symposium will offer practical guidance to achieve success as a venture capitalist in a rapidly changing marketplace, blending topics in governance with content on becoming a more successful investor. Topics include how to respond effectively to new governance challenges at venture capital firms and at portfolio companies; best practices in fund management and limited partner relationships; cutting-edge issues affecting the entire venture sector, including deal pricing, initial coin offerings, and the emergence of a new breed of late stage investors; and gender harassment issues and strategies for creating diverse, inclusive workplaces. Register today to reserve your spot!
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Join NVCA today to impact policy
Joining NVCA is the best way to advance public policy that fosters a healthy environment for high-growth startups and to engage on the policy and industry issues that are important to VCs and your portfolio companies, including: immigration reform that welcomes qualified immigrant entrepreneurs; tax reform that promotes entrepreneurship and capital formation; making public markets work for small cap companies again; and smarter regulations for the startup economy. Become a member today.
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The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough.
Randy Pausch,
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