Investors

We advise investors on all aspects of law concerning their investment into promising startups, including the establishment of a fund or vehicle, capital raising, debt financing and ultimately realisation of the investment through exit

This section includes

Services & Pricing

We understand that the needs of startups are different to those of major corporates and we tailor our offering for investors to reflect the scale, complexity and speed of startup investments.

Our services for investors cover the lifetime of the investment from the establishment of vehicles, investment of funds and following the investment through to exit.

We are well versed in venture capital style investments and we have extensive experience assisting clients to take minority stakes in businesses – we have one of the leading M&A teams in Australia and we understand the unique nature of joint ventures with, and investments in, entrepreneurial and high-growth businesses.

We understand the emerging, high-growth market – Allens is the only big law firm in Australia to have built an internal team and practice specifically targeted to this market. We are also the only law firm to be a foundation member of Stone and Chalk Fintech hub in Sydney.

Access to our network

We leverage our extensive network to connect you with our portfolio of leading high-growth emerging company clients and other business leaders.

We provide access to our international network through our alliance with Linklaters and we act as one firm to support ambitions to expand to overseas markets.

We also provide access to our program of client events, a seat at the table at luncheons for your sector’s most influential people, introductions with senior business leaders and policy makers, and profiling opportunities in white papers and at conferences.

Setting up your investment vehicle

Have you considered how you will be making your investment? Our team can assist you to decide which investment model is going to work for you, and to establish your fund or investment vehicle (including VCLPs & ESVCLPs) to ensure that you have the best opportunity to achieve your investment goals.

Resources

  • Focus: Crowd sourced equity funding to gain traction with new legislation
    After a difficult journey, both Houses have passed the Corporations Amendment (Crowd-sourced Funding) Bill 2016 - introducing a new funding avenue for Australian startups and an opportunity for retail investors to access equity in emerging companies. Managing Associate Valeska Bloch, Senior Associate Tom Griffin, Summer Clerk Katherine Tsatsaklas and Applied Legal Technology Head Paralegal Hope Williams report.
  • Allens Accelerate: The startup investor tax concessions - what you need to know
    The Federal Government has introduced a Bill detailing tax concessions to incentivise investment into Australian startups.
  • Fact sheet: Show me the money: Tax reforms to encourage investment in startups
    The Ideas Boom has arrived with the Federal Government's National Innovation and Science Agenda. Central to the new agenda are a raft of tax and regulatory measures designed to encourage greater investment in startups to help them both get off the ground and to survive the ‘valley of death’ with greater access to Series A capital.
  • Allens Accelerate: Get ready for the #IdeasBoom!
    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled the hotly awaited National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). The Prime Minister declared the beginning of the Ideas Boom, stating that 'unlike the mining boom, this is a boom that can continue forever'. The NISA comprises more than 20 individual policies and will deliver $1.1 billion worth of measures to kick-start the Ideas Boom over the next four years. But, at first blush, the view of the Allens Accelerate team is that the measures will constitute a quantum leap for the startup landscape in Australia.
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Due Diligence

Although anyone thinking about investing in a startup is likely to have a reasonable appetite for risk, investors are unlikely to want to commit their money to a startup that has unnecessary legal risk – that is, risk that exposes a startup to disputes down the track, whether in relation to the ownership of the business or its assets (including core intellectual property), or the manner in which the business conducts its operations. Most investors will therefore conduct some due diligence before they commit to funding a startup. Our team can help you to conduct the necessary legal due diligence in a manner appropriate to the nature of the startup and your proposed investment.

Resources

  • Allens Accelerate: Preparing for investment
    As a startup looking to raise capital, you'll most likely spend a fair bit of time thinking about your pitch to potential investors and, if you're lucky, the terms of any investment.
  • Allens Accelerate: Get ready for the #IdeasBoom!
    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled the hotly awaited National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). The Prime Minister declared the beginning of the Ideas Boom, stating that 'unlike the mining boom, this is a boom that can continue forever'. The NISA comprises more than 20 individual policies and will deliver $1.1 billion worth of measures to kick-start the Ideas Boom over the next four years. But, at first blush, the view of the Allens Accelerate team is that the measures will constitute a quantum leap for the startup landscape in Australia.
  • Fact sheet: Starting-up smart: How to get the most out of your lawyer, for less
    If you’re focused on testing your idea, developing your product and scraping together enough funds to talk to foundation customers, engaging a lawyer could be the last thing on your mind.
  • Fact sheet: Crowd-sourced equity funding – can you access it?
    The new Turnbull Cabinet has made clear its intention to support innovation, so that Australia can have a thriving economy. The Treasury has already done some work in this area, releasing a consultation paper on crowd-sourcing equity funding (CSEF) for startups and small business.
View More Publications

Structuring your Investment

We recognise that investments into this sector are not about immediate returns but rather about embarking on a journey to grow and explore future opportunities. We have extensive experience advising on joint venture and minority stake investments in entrepreneurial businesses. Our understanding of the commercial and strategic drivers of high growth companies means that we can help you to structure these sort of deals and manage your assets going forward.

Speak to us about the best way to protect your investment without stifling the subject of your investment, including by considering investor protection provisions typical of venture capital style minority investments in high-growth companies, such as:

  • anti-dilution protections for future fundraisings (e.g. rights to participate, pre-emptive rights and protection against ‘down round’ dilution)
  • ‘pay-to-play’ requirements for future fundraisings
  • preference rights on liquidation or investor exit (and in particular the consequences if any of the other investors exit)
  • conversion rights (including ensuring conversion rights align with those of the other investors)
  • drag and tag rights (including, importantly, whether there is a mandatory drag for shareholders below a certain percentage holding).

Resources

  • Allens Accelerate: Preparing for investment
    As a startup looking to raise capital, you'll most likely spend a fair bit of time thinking about your pitch to potential investors and, if you're lucky, the terms of any investment.
  • Allens Accelerate: Get ready for the #IdeasBoom!
    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled the hotly awaited National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). The Prime Minister declared the beginning of the Ideas Boom, stating that 'unlike the mining boom, this is a boom that can continue forever'. The NISA comprises more than 20 individual policies and will deliver $1.1 billion worth of measures to kick-start the Ideas Boom over the next four years. But, at first blush, the view of the Allens Accelerate team is that the measures will constitute a quantum leap for the startup landscape in Australia.
  • Fact sheet: Crowd-sourced equity funding – can you access it?
    The new Turnbull Cabinet has made clear its intention to support innovation, so that Australia can have a thriving economy. The Treasury has already done some work in this area, releasing a consultation paper on crowd-sourcing equity funding (CSEF) for startups and small business.
  • Fact sheet: Reap the benefits from your R&D investment
    Grasping tax in the early days of your business is essential – you want to ensure you are keeping everything above board, while not paying unnecessary tax or, importantly, missing opportunities to apply tax offset mechanisms to your business.
View More Publications

Tax

There are many tax and regulatory measures designed to encourage greater investment in startups, including tax incentives, capital gains tax exemptions and tax arrangements for ESVCLPs and VCLPs. Speak to our team about the tax incentives that might be available to you.

Resources

  • Allens Accelerate: The startup investor tax concessions - what you need to know
    The Federal Government has introduced a Bill detailing tax concessions to incentivise investment into Australian startups.
  • Fact sheet: Show me the money: Tax reforms to encourage investment in startups
    The Ideas Boom has arrived with the Federal Government's National Innovation and Science Agenda. Central to the new agenda are a raft of tax and regulatory measures designed to encourage greater investment in startups to help them both get off the ground and to survive the ‘valley of death’ with greater access to Series A capital.
  • Allens Accelerate: Get ready for the #IdeasBoom!
    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled the hotly awaited National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). The Prime Minister declared the beginning of the Ideas Boom, stating that 'unlike the mining boom, this is a boom that can continue forever'. The NISA comprises more than 20 individual policies and will deliver $1.1 billion worth of measures to kick-start the Ideas Boom over the next four years. But, at first blush, the view of the Allens Accelerate team is that the measures will constitute a quantum leap for the startup landscape in Australia.
  • Fact sheet: Sharing is caring - but it may also be taxable!
    A current trend in our society is our willingness to share, whether it be our home, office, or our time. This 'sharing economy' is set to grow, and with that growth comes increased ATO scrutiny.
View More Publications

People

As a fund or investor investing money into a startup, you want to make sure that the startup founders are locked into the business and run the business in a way that aligns with your strategy. It’s also important that the startup has been set up in a way that allows it to attract and maintain the people it needs to take it to the next level.

Resources

  • Fact sheet: Growing your team: working with interns in your startup
    Many startups look to grow their team by engaging interns, work experience students and other unpaid workers.
  • Fact sheet: What price to pay for social media in the workplace?
    There's an assumption that everyone is on social media these days, even when they're at work – and they probably are. Many startups embrace social media, but, as an employer, you will need to understand and manage the risks that come with the use of social media in the workplace.
  • Fact sheet: Reap the benefits from your R&D investment
    Grasping tax in the early days of your business is essential – you want to ensure you are keeping everything above board, while not paying unnecessary tax or, importantly, missing opportunities to apply tax offset mechanisms to your business.
View More Publications

Protecting your IP

Intellectual property is the lifeblood of any new business or startup. Before you invest, you want to make sure that the IP has been adequately protected. What other pitfalls and issues do you need to be aware of?

Resources

  • Allens Accelerate: Preparing for investment
    As a startup looking to raise capital, you'll most likely spend a fair bit of time thinking about your pitch to potential investors and, if you're lucky, the terms of any investment.
  • Fact sheet: Show me the money: Tax reforms to encourage investment in startups
    The Ideas Boom has arrived with the Federal Government's National Innovation and Science Agenda. Central to the new agenda are a raft of tax and regulatory measures designed to encourage greater investment in startups to help them both get off the ground and to survive the ‘valley of death’ with greater access to Series A capital.
  • Allens Accelerate: Get ready for the #IdeasBoom!
    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled the hotly awaited National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). The Prime Minister declared the beginning of the Ideas Boom, stating that 'unlike the mining boom, this is a boom that can continue forever'. The NISA comprises more than 20 individual policies and will deliver $1.1 billion worth of measures to kick-start the Ideas Boom over the next four years. But, at first blush, the view of the Allens Accelerate team is that the measures will constitute a quantum leap for the startup landscape in Australia.
  • Fact sheet: Starting-up smart: How to get the most out of your lawyer, for less
    If you’re focused on testing your idea, developing your product and scraping together enough funds to talk to foundation customers, engaging a lawyer could be the last thing on your mind.
View More Publications

Data Management & Privacy

Breaches of data protection and privacy failures can destroy the reputation of an emerging company. As an investor, how can you ensure that the startup has the correct protection in place?

Resources

  • Focus: Predictive coding gets green light from an Australian court
    The Victorian Supreme Court recently handed down the first decision of an Australian court to specifically consider and approve the use of predictive coding technology in a large-scale discovery exercise. Partner Nick Rudge, Managing Associate Kate Austin and Applied Legal Technology Manager Lisa Kozaris consider the decision and its implications.
  • Focus: Landmark Productivity Commission report on data availability and use
    The Productivity Commission has released a landmark draft report on the ability of individuals, businesses and government to access and use data in Australia. The report criticises Australia's historically conservative approach to data use and proposes a 'fundamental and systematic change' to the way that data is made available and linked. Partner Gavin Smith, Managing Associate Valeska Bloch, Associate Tom Griffin and Lawyer Claudia Hall report.
  • Focus: Predictive coding: the future of electronic document production?
    A recent decision of the English High Court may pave the way for the use of 'predictive coding' in large scale discovery and regulatory investigations in Australia. Partners Nick Rudge and Duncan Travis, Managing Associate Kate Austin and Associate Emily Giblin look at the benefits and risks of the new software.
  • Tip sheet: Big data - How to get the most out of your data
    Big data is becoming a significant corporate asset, a huge competitive advantage and the foundation of new business models.
View More Publications

    WATCH

    CYBER AND STARTUPS
    Dr Nimrod Koslovski is a partner at JVP Cyber Labs, a leading Israeli VC focusing on cyber and big data investments. Valeska Bloch caught up with Dr Koslovski about all things cyber and his insights for a successful startup economy.

Corporate Governance

As an investor, what is your liability for corporate governance issues at the startup?

Visit our Head Office & Governance page.

Resources

  • Allens Accelerate: FAQs: Shareholders agreements
    Together with your company's constitution, a shareholders agreement provides the foundation for the corporate governance of your startup and outlines what a shareholder can and can't do. It also sets out the shareholders' rights and obligations and their role in the management of the company.
  • Client Update: ASIC releases consultation paper on regulatory sandbox exemption for startups
    ASIC has released a consultation paper on proposals to facilitate innovation in the financial services sector. The proposals include details of the long-awaited 'regulatory sandbox'. It will be of interest to both emerging companies who may rely on the relief, as well as investors in this space. Senior Associate Simun Soljo and Law Graduate Antonia Ross look at what the paper proposes.
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