Venture Capital and Emerging Business

As a market leader with offices in four of the top 12 cities for startup activity according to the Kauffman Index, Gardere’s venture capital and emerging business group is strategically positioned to help high-growth companies manage risks, maximize opportunities and expand nationally.

Our venture capital and emerging business group works with venture capital funds and other investors, as well as emerging companies, in a wide variety of industry sectors throughout all stages of development. The team’s dual focus on representing investors and emerging companies provides clients with the high-quality and market-focused advice needed in the evolving venture capital market. 

Our team regularly handles angel/venture capital financings and day-to-day matters. Our primary aim is to help emerging, venture-backed and high-growth companies position themselves for exits, whether that means preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) or sale, establishing long-term equity incentive plans, or protecting IP assets. The team also assists clients in establishing intra- and inter-state crowdfunding platforms and navigating the complex regulatory scheme governing them.

As companies expand, our team provides high-growth clients access to a premier, full-service law firm as they travel through the stages of their development. Our innovative team leans on the Firm’s full-service platform to provide superior and business-oriented service. When complex tax, estate planning, international licensing or other sophisticated transaction or litigation-related issues arise, we provide the depth and breadth of experience it takes to address those matters quickly and successfully.


Gardere Catalyst is an early-stage incubator program for select early-stage, high-growth potential startups. The program provides these clients with strategic guidance and legal counsel at a price that is scaled based on growth. Catalyst’s legal services include:

  • Formation of the company – serves as the foundation to raise capital, protect IP, build a staff and employ innovative long-term equity incentive programs
  • IP – filing trademarks/provisional patents and drafting licensing agreements, privacy policies and terms of use
  • Employment / Executive Compensation – such as offer letters, non-competition agreements and confidentiality protections, proprietary information and invention assignment agreement (PIIA) and equity plans
  • Tax – tax guidance
  • Financing – convertible notes, simple agreements for equity (SAFEs), and other seed-stage investments

For more information about Catalyst, visit here.

Client Stories

Rick Jordan, co-chair of our venture capital and emerging business group, recently handled a multimillion-dollar later-stage financing for a Texas-based bio tech company. The venture-backed client reached out to the Firm after realizing its fast growth required utilization of different areas of law, including corporate representation, and employment issues. The Firm quickly got up-to-speed regarding the client’s technology and FDA-approval status and successfully negotiated a significant financing round with a leading venture capital firm. As part of the financing, the team handled a number of other matters, including employment agreements for the executive team and implementing a long-term equity incentive program. Gardere is assisting the client with preparation for subsequent financings and a potential IPO.

Glenn Singleton, also a co-chair of the group, was recently engaged by a Texas-based SAAS and HAAS company to assist in a multi-step recapitalization. The company was saddled with out-of-market seed financing terms and convertible notes, and the founder had effectively lost control of the company as a result. Glenn was able to renegotiate the seed financing and convertible note terms, normalize the control of the company and help secure a multi-million Series A financing. In connection with both the initial refinancing and Series A financing, Gardere team members handled a number of legal matters, including the creation of an employee stock option plan, filing numerous patent applications and negotiation of employment agreements for the executive team. The Firm currently is assisting the company with preparing for Series B financing, handling various day-to-day outside general counsel matters such as customer, vendor and partnering agreements, beta testing agreements, nondisclosure agreements and the creation of an expanded board of directors and board of advisors.

Adam Hull was engaged by Texas-based NextSeed US LLC to assist in the formation and registration of a national web-based crowdfunding portal. A team of Gardere specialists, led by Adam Hull and Rick Jordan, advised NextSeed on securities and broker-dealer laws, lending regulations, internal structuring and tax-related matters. In April of 2016, NextSeed became the first online funding portal in history to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. NextSeed’s national crowdfunding portal facilitates the offer and sale of debt securities of small U.S. businesses to the general public, pursuant to the Regulation Crowdfunding rules under Title III of the JOBS Act, which went into effect May 16, 2016. In July 2016, The Native, a luxury hostel located in Austin, Texas, utilized NextSeed’s online crowdfunding platform to become the first issuer under Title III of the JOBS Act to close an offering after achieving its funding goal.

Essentials for High-Growth Companies and Their Investors

Our team assists clients in every critical area:

  • Venture Capital. Our lawyers work with venture capital funds to help connect emerging companies with investment sources. Because of Gardere's full range of legal services, we help from initial investment through final liquidity, no matter what issue or opportunity arises.
  • Angel and Crowdfunded Investors. We represent all types of investors in early and later-stage financings.  We also have significant experience representing crowdfunding platforms and companies seeking capital through crowdfunding platforms.
  • Formation. When we form a new company, we create the foundation it takes to raise capital, protect intellectual property, build a staff and employ innovative long-term equity incentive programs.
  • Growth.  We partner with high-growth companies, serving at every stage in the life cycle – from early-stage through maturity. Our team ensures that companies have the resources and structure to support day-to-day operations.
  • Exit. We are a market-leader in assisting venture-backed and family-owned businesses effect exits and other liquidity events. We also regularly assist companies in their acquisition of competitors and other market participants.

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