The demarcation of private equity and venture capital is not always very easy. Private equity is basically defined as the participation of investors providing equity capital to companies outside the stock exchange.
Venture capital is defined as the participation of entrepreneurs investing in companies to be set up or in young companies (start-ups). Due to the high risk involved for the investor, this kind of capital is also known as risk capital.
Our German attorneys specializing in private equity & venture capital have been advising investors, founders, and companies for many years in venture capital and private equity transactions focusing on the German market. For all parties involved, this experience is the guarantee of a legally compliant design and swift conclusion of the necessary contracts at reasonable cost.
When advising founders, it is important to strengthen their position in negotiations with investors and to ensure that the founders' interests are adequately taken into account. When advising investors, the primary objectives consist in
- minimizing risks,
- providing supervisory powers, and
- ensuring a successful exit.
Our lawyers advise entrepreneurs on the foundation of their start-up in Germany and support them in all fields of German law. This starts with an examination of the business model and the business plan with respect to potential legal barriers (this may be particularly important in tightly regulated areas, e.g. Fintechs or Legal Techs) and continues with ongoing advice provided for example in
- the preparation of the major contracts, e.g. with customers, suppliers and cooperation partners;
- the protection of their intellectual property;
- German employment law matters (including management participation and employee participation e.g. in the form of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), stock option plans, phantom share or phantom options);
- IP & IT and data protection law, and
- legal disputes.
WINHELLER acted as advisor to Nuri, the blockchain banking service provider, in the largest financing round of a German blockchain company to date. An international consortium of investors led by Sony Financial Ventures and Global Brain as well as the British NKB Group is investing EUR 13 million in Nuri as part of a Series A financing round in order to speed up the expansion. Learn more
The key factors in the success of a company's business idea, evaluation, and financing by investors and of a successful exit are
- the legally compliant structuring of the business model;
- the legal protection of the key assets;
- the loyalty of specialists and experts to the company;
- the legally compliant design of all contracts, and
- the avoidance of legal risks.
We will be pleased to support you in every phase of your project in Germany. Thanks to our integrated tax practice, we are additionally able to advise you on tax planning, and support you with respect to tax returns, financial accounting and the preparation of annual financial statements.
The remuneration for our services is always reasonable and transparent. In addition, we can offer fixed prices for certain services. In this way, we can help start-ups to stay within their - in many cases - limited budgets.
WINHELLER supports company founders, companies, German and foreign financial investors and other capital providers from the first financing round up to the exit, e.g. by means of a trade sale. We prepare due diligence processes for start-ups or carry out legal or fiscal due diligence investigations for investors in the German market.
We prepare and negotiate investment agreements, shareholders' agreements, and other necessary contracts and provide advice on mezzanine financing instruments (convertible loans, shareholder loans, dormant partnerships, participation rights).
In this context, what really matters to us is to make arrangements that perfectly match our clients' requirements (e.g. by way of milestones and exit strategy) and to design them in a legally compliant manner so as to avoid any later disputes between founders and investors. Should any disputes still occur among shareholders, we provide constructive help to find solutions.
As private equity and venture capital firm, we assist national and international financial investors during the entire life-cycle of their investments, (as required) including add-on acquisitions and divestments. Please do not hesitate to contact our venture lawyers for any queries.
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