The Treasury Department recently released the long awaited final rules implementing the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), and they go into effect February 13, 2020. Through FIRRMA, Congress gave CFIUS significant new powers to police investments into certain U.S. companies and has made CFIUS highly relevant in the startup ecosystem. CFIUS’s power was demonstrated in recent high-profile cases that forced Chinese investors to divest of holdings in Grindr, PatientsLikeMe, and Musical.ly. The combination of CFIUS interest in data rich companies and their expanded authority over non-controlling investments means the agency will be a player in the startup ecosystem going forward. Read more
TL; DR: YES.
Okay, for those of you still with me: I’ve previously written about foreign investment scrutiny and its impact on the venture and startup ecosystem, including how the legislative process played out, how the new pilot program rules impact VCs, and what to expect next. In a nutshell, earlier this year Congress greatly expanded the authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) to examine foreign investment deals for national security implications. Through the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), Congress gave CFIUS the authority to review minority, non-controlling investments by a foreign person into U.S. critical technology companies. Read more
VCs and entrepreneurs continue to be impacted by new foreign investment scrutiny. In August, the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) delivered enhanced powers to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), a U.S. government entity that has been called the “ultimate regulatory bazooka” for its ability to reject foreign investment for national security reasons. Recently, NVCA members and startups heard from CFIUS leaders at our Emerging Technology Meets National Security conference. That included the Treasury Department’s Heath Tarbert, who leads FIRRMA implementation and has a major role in how the new powers will impact the venture industry going forward. Read more
Venture investors and startups are waking up to a new reality as the U.S. government is newly empowered to scrutinize foreign investment, including into venture funds and by foreign strategic investors. We’ve written previously about the big impact the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA) will have on venture capital. The Treasury Department recently made a bold gambit when it issued Pilot Program rules under FIRRMA (fact sheet here). All aspects of the startup ecosystem are wise to understand these rules and buckle up going forward. Read more
If you’re a VC with a foreign LP or have foreign co-investors, then you should know the law is about to change.
Later this week, Congress is expected to pass legislation that will impact foreign investment into the venture and startup ecosystem in new ways. President Trump is expected to sign the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), as he chose to back the bill rather than move forward with China-specific restrictions. NVCA is pleased to see key changes in the final bill, but it still stands to affect VC funds with foreign limited partners and/or co-investors. We will continue to engage on your behalf and encourage you to be in touch with questions or comments. Read more