Orrick’s Guide to Venture Capital Deals in Germany

A Practical Guide for Founders of and Investors in German Technology Companies | February.20.2018

Venture Capital Deals in GermanyNegotiating venture capital financing agreements for privately-held technology companies raises business, legal, tax, intellectual property, employment and liability issues. If you don’t get these right from the start, there may be significant implications for both founders and investors. To help founders and investors navigate these challenges, Orrick is excited to launch Orrick’s Guide to Venture Capital Deals in Germany.

This guide provides practical tips and legal considerations based on years of experience counseling high-growth companies and their investors in Germany, from incorporation to their successful exits. It covers the most-contested issues in venture financings, presenting both the investor’s and the founder’s perspectives.

We will outline venture deal structures, define industry terminology and explain many of the concepts and terms used in term sheets and investment documentation. We will also delve deeper into the intricacies of drafting investment and shareholders’ agreements. To give you an insider’s look into drafting, we include a template term sheet for a typical venture capital financing round. Throughout the guide, we include sidebars on other relevant and timely topics that we discuss with clients on a regular basis, including convertible loans, the increased importance of data privacy rules, merger clearance for venture capital investments and technology exits, and virtual stock option plans.

As one of the top tech law firms in the world, we are particularly committed to bringing the United States and German entrepreneurship ecosystems closer together. We especially want to help German technology companies be attractive for American and British investors. To that end, throughout this guide we will take the perspective of a potential U.S. or U.K. investor, and give tips to founders of and early-stage investors in German technology companies to prepare you for what later-stage investors often look for. We will also point out differences between the U.S. and the U.K. so that this guide may also serve as a useful tool for investors from these jurisdictions considering investments in young German technology companies.

In preparing the guide, our global team drew on our collective experience across practices. We represent more than 1800 tech companies worldwide, as well as the world’s leading venture and private equity investors. Founded in the Bay Area, Orrick is one of the world’s leading law firms for tech companies, and ranks #1 for European venture capital transactions (PitchBook).

We hope the guide is a useful resource and welcome your questions and feedback.

Click here to download the Guide.