In a letter to the U.S. Senate signed by “America’s Start-up Leaders,” more than 700 entrepreneurs today urged lawmakers to support a measure that would make it easier for companies to complete IPOs.
“During the past decade, emerging growth companies have faced numerous new challenges when considering an IPO,” the letter says. “The regulatory on-ramp provisions thoughtfully address many of these issues and, for the first time in years, will provide much needed support for small companies with big potential.” (Full letter with signatures below).
The measure passed the House of Representatives last week with bipartisan support by a vote of 390-23 as part of the Jobs Act. Among other things the legislation is designed to make it easier for smaller companies to make the leap to the public marketplaces, putting less stringent conditions on the smaller firms. (The bill would double the number of shareholders a company can have before being required to report to the SEC. Smaller companies also would not be held to the same strict reporting standards as large companies with revenues over $1 billion).
The National Venture Capital Association is pushing hard for the reforms, helping to rally support and signatures. The pressure comes amid a soft market for IPOs in which just 45 venture-backed companies joined the public markets last year, including just one from the Seattle area. (Zillow).
“The bipartisan support for this bill evidences the positive impact it will have on young companies that seek significant growth through the U.S. capital markets system,” said NVCA president Mark Heesen. “Passage of this bill will not only keep these companies on their respective growth trajectories, but it will accelerate them – and that can only mean more product development, more hiring, and more shareholder value for the long term.”
Among those who signed the bill are Seattle area entrepreneurs Doug Brown, president and CEO of All Star Directories; Keith Smith, CEO of BigDoor; Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger; Mike Fridgen, CEO of Decide; Amy Pelly, CFO of Doxo; Trisha Gross, CEO of Hubspan; Kyle Kesterson; CEO of Freak’n Genius; Jeremy Wemple, CEO of RewardsForce; Christian Chabot, CEO Of Tableau Software; Clifford Stocks, CEO of Theraclone Sciences; Darryl Rawlings, CEO of Trupanion; Ben Elowitz, CEO of Wetpaint.
[IPO photo via Bigstock]