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Week in Review: FundersClub, Series A, and More Dell

Happy Friday, all. The SEC’s approval of FundersClub, an equity crowdfunding site, is one of the biggest stories from the week. While not exactly a surprise, the explicit greenlight from the regulatory agency suggests that the rest of the JOBS Act may be soon to follow. The timing seems appropriate with the one year anniversary approaching.

In other news, Dell is seriously considering offers from Blackstone and Icahn, major LPs are choosing to invest directly, and a Series A crunch is underway for startups.

SEC Greenlights One Style of Equity Crowdfunding For Startups: The era of crowdfunding is nigh. Yesterday, the SEC announced that it would “not pursue enforcement action against FundersClub, whose platform lets any accredited investor fund startups in exchange for equity.” While some start-ups are excited, Dan Primack is concerned about the development.

Dell Board to Continue Talks with Icahn and Blackstone: Just when you thought it was over, the Dell deal has re-entered the spotlight. Earlier this week, it became clear that Dell was seriously considering offers from Blackstone and Carl Icahn. While some think Icahn’s is a better offer, it turns out that Dell has been paying for Blackstone’s diligence bills.

What Moleskine’s Market Position Really Looks Like: Moleskine, the Italian notebook maker, has experienced a lot of publicity in the wake of its IPO announcement last week. Like the Twinkie fiasco last year, Moleskine’s publicity is a testament to market positioning and brand awareness.

Buyout Firms Face Squeeze: According to Reuters, many major LPs are beginning to bypass investment shops in favor of direct investments or co-investments. It appears that the management fees and little say in investment strategy has begun to wear on many investors.

Debt is Back – Big Deals May Be Close Behind: Cheap debt is here. So cheap that the 4.25% yield used in the Heinz deal is “by far the lowest interest rate ever for an LBO bond deal.” Combine that with favorable deal terms and the ketchupy mega-deal was nearly a no-brainer. The questions remains if other mega-deals (or just regular deals) will follow.

Banks Still Too-Big-To-Fail: Six Things the Fed Must Do: Last week, Ben Bernanke admitted that the too-big-to-fail problem still exists. Steve Denning has since proposed six actions the Fed should consider — including ending banks’ deceptive accounting practices, expose the banks’ role in the real economy, and more.

Series A Crunch Worsens: Fenwick & West’s annual seed financing study learned that Series A funding in high technology and life sciences is on the decline. While seed funding remained steady, VCs have been noticeably more hesitant to offer up a Series A. Is it because of crowdfunding? Will PE firms begin to fill the void?

Member Spotlight: G&H Ventures

Axial Member G&H Ventures is an investment firm targeting investments in the financial services, healthcare products and services, and manufacturing sectors. A subscriber to the “buy and build” investment approach, G&H typically invests between $2 – $10 million in small to mid-size private companies via equity or mezzanine investments.

Click here to connect with G&H Ventures or any of the other 10,000+ Axial Members.

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