Corporate Venture Capital

Today, it’s essential for businesses to keep up with the latest innovations. But if you want to invest in new technology you need lawyers who understand it. Our expert team can guide you through every step of a CVC investment.

Our extensive experience with start-ups puts us in a unique position to advise corporations who are looking to invest. We have specialists in a wide variety of areas like mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, media, technology, digital business and labor law, so we can always give you the best legal guidance possible.

Take Your Business to the Next Level

New innovations. New possibilities.

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Right now, technology is advancing faster than any other time in history. And companies have to keep pace if they want to stay competitive. Start-ups and tech companies are leading the way with groundbreaking ideas and disruptive innovations. Instead of trying to compete with them, many corporations choose to collaborate with them – a strategy that can greatly benefit both parties.

Benefits for Corporates

  • The business is strengthened through technology and innovation
  • New markets, distribution channels and business models can be explored
  • Assets can potentially increase in value
  • New life is breathed into the corporate culture
  • Saved time and costs for R&D
  • Fresh talent is brought on board

Benefits for Start-ups

  • Financial support
  • Access to corporate resources
  • New sales channels and markets
  • Predetermined exit route for founders
  • Help setting up partnerships

  

Corporate Venturing in Numbers

Source: CB Insights CVC Report 2019

  

Lawyers Who Understand Innovators

SKW Schwarz is one of the most experienced venture capital law firms in Germany. But what sets us apart is our expertise in new technologies. We believe you can only give the best legal advice when you truly understand the industry you are dealing with. Which is why we aren’t only experts in law, but also in AI, VR, IoT, RPA, 5G and every other new tech development you can think of. For years we have advised both start-ups and international corporations on all legal matters related to Industry 4.0. We know how start-ups operate as well as the laws, risks and opportunities that come with an investment in new technologies. Which is why we are the best choice to guide you through any CVC investment.

We’ve Got You Covered Every Step of the Way

Even investments that look perfect on the surface might have hidden issues. We provide expert legal advice and a comprehensive risk assessment so you can get a clear picture of what the new technology – and team – will bring to your business.

During this phase we will:

  • Conduct an industry-specific legal assessment of the target company
  • Examine current industry regulations and existing contractual obligations
  • Help to define the future company and shareholder structure
  • Give a legal assessment of the financing options
  • Screen existing employment contracts and bonus schemes
  • Provide legal advice on employee inventions and earn out scenarios
  • Check intellectual property rights, assist you in protecting innovations and know-how
  • Conduct an in-depth due diligence

Once you have decided that you want to go ahead with an investment, there are a number of options open to you. We help you analyze all the alternatives from a legal perspective so you can determine which one best suits your interests.

During this phase we will:

  • Structure the investment in terms of equity, funding, contracts and tax
  • Assist with organizational structuring
  • Give an assessment of tax implications

Now is the time for contracts to be drawn up. And when you definitely want SKW Schwarz’s highly-experienced legal team on your side. Every line needs to be analyzed with exquisite attention to detail to ensure you get the deal you are looking for and are protected regardless of what happens in the future.

During this phase we will:

  • Negotiate and draft the investment agreement and shareholders’ agreement
  • Prepare and organize notarization if required
  • Draw up new service and employment agreements for founders and management
  • Acquire minority shares or private equity secondaries if necessary

Once your new venture has been launched, we offer ongoing legal advice whenever needed. Perhaps you want to expand into a new market or role out employee incentives. Maybe you need guidance on a trademark issue or would like to draw up new service provider contracts. Whatever the next steps in the journey, we are here to support you.

During this phase we will:

  • Perform administrative and corporate housekeeping
  • Structure contractual relationships to customers and suppliers
  • (Re)negotiate, draw up and review licensing agreements
  • Support market share expansion through financing rounds and/or mergers and acquisitions
  • Deal with employment matters like labor contracts and compensation models

There are many reasons why you may eventually want to exit an investment. During this phase SKW Schwarz will provide you with excellent legal representation regardless of the exit route you choose, so you can maximize value and minimize risks.

During this phase we will:

  • Provide guidance and prepare the legal work required for an M&A deal or a trade sale/IPO
  • Work on earn-out solutions for the management team
  • Draft non-disclosure agreements

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