Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 48: Crowdfunding Platforms Raise Capital; Insider Trading Scandal; Proposed Arena Images; Costco Criticized

Crowdfunding News

WeFunder Becomes the Latest Crowdfunding Platform to “Get Funded”

A recent article on The Crowd Cafe, a crowdfunding-centric blog published by Jonathan Sandlund, lists the crowdfunding platforms that have raised capital. WeFunder, the latest platform to close its seed round, raised $550,000 from 58 different investors. According to WeFunder’s email blast, the investments ranged from $100 to $100,000, and half of the investors were un-accredited.

What does this mean? It signals that people are excited for the changes that are on the horizon for the funding landscape. Look at FundersClub, they’ve raised more than $6.5 million between their pre-seed and seed round. That’s serious money!

Securities Regulation

Ex-Rochdale Securities Trader Arrested for $1 Billion Trade in Apple

According to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday by the U.S. attorney...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Weeks 45 & 46: Tully’s Sells; Costco Pays; SEC Cracks Whip

Regional News

Tully’s Selling Coffee Shops to Kachi for $4.3 Million

Tully’s Coffee Corp. has seen its ups and downs recently. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, and announced Wednesday that it will sell its coffee shops in Washington and California to Kachi Partners, a Colorado-based entrepreneurial financial group. Kachi was one of 13 companies that expressed interest in purchasing Tully’s, and one of the 56 potential buyers that were contacted.

Subject to court approval, the acquisition will close by the end of December. Kachi plans to continue to operate the existing coffee shops under the Tully’s name.

Business Booming for Costco; Announces Special Dividend of $7 Cash

Costco Wholesale Corp., headquartered in Issaquah, announced the dividend as a result of...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 44: Law Firm Merger, Starbucks Acquisition, BP Oil Spill Resolution

Mergers and Acquisitions

Starbucks Acquires Teavana for $620 Million Cash On Thursday, the Seattle-based coffee giant announced its plan to acquire Atlanta-based tea company, Teavana Holdings Inc. This acquisition comes as part of Starbucks’ general strategy of moving into non-coffee areas, including juice and tea. The U.S. tea industry is a  $95 billion market.

The acquisition certainly doesn’t break the bank for Starbucks, as it is sitting on roughly $1.5 billion in cash.

Mega Law Firm Merger Announced What do you get when you combine two of the larger law firms in the world? 3,800 lawyers and 55 offices around the world (perhaps a nightmare to some folks). Houston-based law firm Fulbright & Jaworski and British firm Norton Rose announced that the two firms will...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 43: Whistleblower Wins, Google Venture, Dodd Frank, etc.

Regional News

Whistleblower Receives Multi-Million Dollar Settlement The former CFO of Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company Omeros Corp., Richard Klein, received nearly $4 million in settlement to resolve a wrongful termination and whistleblower lawsuit. According to Klein’s attorney, the former CFO alleged that Omeros falsified timekeeping records on a National Institute of Health research grant. Klein alerted Omeros’ audit committee and was subsequently fired from Omeros.

Omeros denies any wrongdoing, and stated its reason for settling as, “given a ruling by the court that deprived Omeros of evidence that Omeros would have offered at trial, the inherent uncertainty in a jury trial that could have resulted in an award to Mr. Klein that significantly exceeded the limits of Omeros’ insurance policy…the overall costs of a...

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Business Startup

Green Energy Benefits Extend Beyond the Environment

You’ve likely noticed the growing trend of small businesses ‘going green.’ More and more businesses are operating on green power in an effort to help the environment. For some of these businesses, it goes beyond the positive environmental impacts, ‘going green’ is a way for the company to build its branding and profitability.

The Growing Trend in Small Business Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released an updated list of organizations that voluntarily choose to use clean, renewable electricity to run their business. Wind, low-impact hydropower, and solar energy qualify as “green” power. Many of these companies power their business with 100 percent green energy. Of the 1,300 companies that participate in the EPA’s Green Power Partnership program, more than half are small...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 42: Patents, Investors, and Tankers

Patent Wars

Apple Proposes to Pay Google $1 per iPhone Motorola Mobility, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google, and Apple have been engaged in a messy dispute over patent rights. On Wednesday, Apple formally announced to the court its willingness to pay Motorola for a license to use its standard-essential wireless patents, but only if the per-unit royalty rate does not exceed $1.

Apple declared that if the court sets the FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) rate at or below $1, then it will take a license and start paying right away. If the court does not set a FRAND rate at or below $1, Apple is prepared to exhaust all of its legal options before it pays Google a penny.

Investor News

New Investor Raises...

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Business Startup

FINRA Fines NEXT For Inadequate Private Placement Due Diligence

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined NEXT Financial Group for failing to perform reasonable investigations during the due diligence phase of the private placement offering by Provident Royalties. As a result of NEXT’s failure, investors lost hundreds of millions of dollars. NEXT will pay a $50,000 fine and $2 million in restitution to its clients. Furthermore, the SEC has accused Provident of committing fraud, and as least one of Provident’s brokers has admitted to these allegations.

As we discussed last week, due diligence requires a reasonable investigation of all the “material” facts before entering into any agreement with another person or entity. Due diligence is required and regulated in order to prevent unnecessary harm to investors. Typically, a broker is...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 41: Recent Case, Regional Real Estate News

Recent Cases

Class Action against Mobile App developer Path In early 2012, Path was sued for alleged surreptitious collecting of mobile device address books and installation of tracking software. Path moved to dismiss the claims for lack of standing and for failure to state a claim. The court ruled that there was proper standing, but Path was successful in dismissing some of the claims. The court dismissed for failure to state a claim the plaintiff’s claims under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Stored Communications Act, California wiretapping statute, and state common law privacy, conversion and trespass.

However, plaintiff’s claims for violations of the California Computer Crime Law, California’s Unfair Competition Law, negligence, and unjust enrichment all survived the motion to dismiss. As support...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 40: Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities Regulation, and Housing

Mergers and Acquisitions

Exxon Mobil Buys Canadian Oil and Gas Company Oil giant Exxon Mobil agreed to terms on Wednesday to purchase Canadian oil and gas company Celtic Exploration. Exxon is paying roughly $3.1 billion in cash and stock. Exxon has been actively seeking to expand its presence in the energy-rich shale that is in western Canada.

The deal includes Exxon paying about $24.5 Canadian dollars ($24.92 USD) per share, which is roughly 35 percent above the Canadian company’s closing price. Celtic investors will also receive .5 of a share in a new company that will be led by Celtic’s current management team.

Microsoft Makes Two Deals in Two Days Microsoft announced Wednesday that it has closed a deal to acquire MarketingPilot Software, LLC, a...

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Business Startup

Is Revenue-Based Investing Changing the Investment Landscape?

Regardless of your position, entrepreneur or investor (or both), you’ve likely noticed that the investment landscape is changing. There’s a move away from traditional venture capital and institutional funding toward  micro-VC and super angel funds—smaller-scale versions of VC funds, typically in the $10-50 million range, that make a wider range of smaller investments.  Furthermore, due to the roller coaster nature of financial markets, exits are being drawn out longer  than the traditional three to five year range. This means angels are not seeing returns as quickly as they did in the 1990s and early 2000s. Not to mention, there’s another potential change on the horizon with the emergence of companies like kickstarter.com and recent legislation, including the JOBS Act which includes the CROWDFUND Act.

As a result,...

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