Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey – Fourth Quarter 2017
Full Analysis
By Cynthia Clarfield Hess, Mark A. Leahy and Khang Tran

View the full report.

This report analyzes the terms of 190 venture financings closed in the fourth quarter of 2017 by companies headquartered in Silicon Valley.

Overview of Results
Valuation Results Remain Strong
Valuation results continued to be strong in Q4 2017, but the percentage price increases declined moderately compared to the prior quarter, following three consecutive quarters of increases.

Internet/Digital Media Scores Highest Valuation Results
The internet/digital media industry recorded the strongest valuation results in Q4 2017 compared to the other industries, with an average price increase of 179% and a median price increase of 51%, both up from the prior quarter.

Valuation Results Down for Series D Financings
Series D financings recorded the weakest valuation results in Q4 2017 compared to the other financing rounds, with the highest percentage of down rounds and the lowest average and median price increases of all the financing rounds.

Full Report
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Dropbox targets market cap at nearly $8 billion in initial public offering

By  – Editor-in-Chief, San Francisco Business Times

Dropbox is targeting a market capitalization at about $7.6 billion in its initial public offering expected this month, down from $10 billion in its last fundraising round.

The San Francisco-based file-sharing company plans to sell 36 million shares of Class A common stock for $16 to $18 a share, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission issued this morning.

At the high end, Dropbox would have a market value of $7.1 billion, based on the shares outstanding after the IPO. Including restricted stock units, the valuation would be about $7.6 billion.

Dropbox will use a portion of the funds raised in the stock sale to repay nearly $173 million to its lenders and hinted at acquisitions in its filing:

“We may use a portion of the net proceeds we receive from this offering and the concurrent private placement to acquire businesses, products, services or technologies. However, we do not have agreements or commitments for any material acquisitions at this time.”

In addition, cloud giant Salesforce.com has agreed to buy 5.9 million shares in a private placement through its venture capital arm after the IPO, the prospectus said.

In a prior filing last month disclosing its intention to go public, Dropbox said:

  • It has more than 500 million registered users in 180 countries.
  • 11 million users pay subscription fees for its file storage and syncing service.
  • Revenue jumped 30 percent in 2017 to $1.1 billion from $845 million in 2016.
  • Losses narrowed to $112 million from $210 million in the same period.
  • It will list under the stock symbol DBX on the Nasdaq.
  • Competitors include Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Atlassian.

Dropbox was founded by CEO Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, both students of MIT, in 2007 with initial funding from Y Combinator. Its closest competitor is Redwood City-based Box, which has had a lackluster stock performance since its 2015 IPO.

This is what your smartphone is doing to your brain — and it isn’t good

your brain on apps 1200px_bi graphics

Dopamine versus serotonin top image Samantha Lee/Business Insider
  • Scientists aren’t sure if technology is destroying our brains, but they’re pretty confident it’s addictive and can lead to depression.
  • It’s also slowing down our thinking processes.
  • And some tasks are better done off the phone, research suggests.
  • This is an installment of Business Insider’s “Your Brain on Apps” series that investigates how addictive apps can influence behavior.

All day long, we’re inundated by interruptions and alerts from our devices. Smartphones buzz to wake us up, emails stream into our inboxes, notifications from coworkers and far away friends bubble up on our screens, and “assistants” chime in with their own soulless voices.

Such interruptions seem logical to our minds: we want technology to help with our busy lives, ensuring we don’t miss important appointments and communications.

But our bodies have a different view: These constant alerts jolt our stress hormones into action, igniting our flight or flight response; our heartbeats quicken, our breathing tightens, our sweat glands burst open, and our muscles contract. That response is intended to help us outrun danger, not answer a call or text from a colleague.

We are simply not built to live like this.

woman phone smartphoneGarry Knight/Flickr (CC)

Our apps are taking advantage of our hard-wired needs for security and social interaction and researchers are starting to see how terrible this is for us. A full 89% of college students now report feeling “phantom” phone vibrations, imagining their phone is summoning them to attention when it hasn’t actually buzzed.Another 86% of Americans say they check their email and social media accounts “constantly,” and that it’s really stressing them out.

Endocrinologist Robert Lustig tells Business Insider that notifications from our phones are training our brains to be in a nearly constant state of stress and fear by establishing a stress-fear memory pathway. And such a state means that the prefrontal cortex, the part of our brains that normally deals with some of our highest-order cognitive functioning, goes completely haywire, and basically shuts down.

“You end up doing stupid things,” Lustig says. “And those stupid things tend to get you in trouble.”

Your brain can only do one thing at a time

Scientists have known for years what people often won’t admit to themselves: humans can’t really multi-task. This is true for almost all of us: about 97.5% of the population. The other 2.5% have freakish abilities; scientists call them “super taskers,” because they can actually successfully do more than one thing at once. They can drive while talking on the phone, without compromising their ability to gab or shift gears.

How dopamine and serotonin circulate differently in the brain Samantha Lee/Business Insider

But since only about 1 in 50 people are super taskers, the rest of us mere mortals are really only focusing on just one thing at a time. That means every time we pause to answer a new notification or get an alert from a different app on our phone, we’re being interrupted, and with that interruption we pay a price: something called a “switch cost.”Sometimes the switch from one task to another costs us only a few tenths of a second, but in a day of flip-flopping between ideas, conversations, and transactions on a phone or computer, our switch costs can really add up, and make us more error-prone, too. Psychologist David Meyer who’s studied this effect estimates that shifting between tasks can use up as much as 40% of our otherwise productive brain time.

Every time we switch tasks, we’re also shooting ourselves up with a dose of the stress hormone cortisol, Lustig says. The switching puts our thoughtful, reasoning prefrontal cortex to sleep, and kicks up dopamine, our brain’s addiction chemical.

In other words, the stress that we build up by trying to do many things at once when we really can’t is making us sick, and causing us to crave even more interruptions, spiking dopamine, which perpetuates the cycle.

More phone time, lazier brain

Our brains can only process so much information at a time, about 60 bits per second.

The more tasks we have to do, the more we have to choose how we want to use our precious brain power. So its understandable that we might want to pass some of our extra workload to our phones or digital assistants.

But there is some evidence that delegating thinking tasks to our devices could not only be making our brains sicker, but lazier too.

The combination of socializing and using our smartphones could be putting a huge tax on our brains.

Researchers have found smarter, more analytical thinkers are less active on their smartphone search engines than other people. That doesn’t mean that using your phone for searching causes you to be “dumber,” it could just be that these smarties are searching less because they know more. But the link between less analytical thinking and more smartphone scrolling is there.

We also know that reading up on new information on your phone can be a terrible way to learn. Researchers have shown that people who take in complex information from a book, instead of on a screen, develop deeper comprehension, and engage in more conceptual thinking, too.

Brand new research on dozens of smartphone users in Switzerland also suggests that staring at our screens could be making both our brains and our fingers more jittery.

In research published this month, psychologists and computer scientists have found an unusual and potentially troubling connection: the more tapping, clicking and social media posting and scrolling people do, the “noisier” their brain signals become. That finding took the researchers by surprise. Usually, when we do something more often, we get better, faster and more efficient at the task.

But the researchers think there’s something different going on when we engage in social media: the combination of socializing and using our smartphones could be putting a huge tax on our brains.

Social behavior, “may require more resources at the same time,” study author Arko Ghosh said, from our brains to our fingers. And that’s scary stuff.

Driving texting smartphoneFlickr/André-Pierre du Plessis

Should being on your phone in public be taboo?

Despite these troubling findings, scientists aren’t saying that enjoying your favorite apps is automatically destructive. But we do know that certain types of usage seem especially damaging.

Checking Facebook has been proven to make young adults depressed. Researchers who’ve studied college students’ emotional well-being find a direct link: the more often people check Facebook, the more miserable they are. But the incessant, misery-inducing phone checking doesn’t just stop there. Games like Pokemon GO or apps like Twitter can be addictive, and will leave your brain craving another hit.

Teens Texting Getty Images/Spencer Platt

Addictive apps are built to give your brain rewards, a spike of pleasure when someone likes your photo or comments on your post. Like gambling, they do it on an unpredictable schedule. That’s called a “variable ratio schedule”and its something the human brain goes crazy for.This technique isn’t just used by social media, it’s all over the internet. Airline fares that drop at the click of a mouse. Overstocked sofas that are there one minute and gone the next. Facebook notifications that change based on where our friends are and what they’re talking about. We’ve gotta have it all, we’ve gotta have more, and we’ve gotta have it now. We’re scratching addictive itches all over our screens.

Lustig says that even these kinds of apps aren’t inherently evil. They only become a problem when they are given free reign to interrupt us, tugging at our brains’ desire for tempting treats, tricking our brains into always wanting more.

“I’m not anti technology per se,” he counters. “I’m anti variable-reward technology. Because that’s designed very specifically to make you keep looking.”

Lustig says he wants to change this by drawing boundaries around socially acceptable smartphone use. If we can make a smartphone addiction taboo (like smoking inside buildings, for example), people will at least have to sanction their phone time off to delegated places and times, giving their brains a break.

“My hope is that we will come to a point where you can’t pull your cell phone out in public,” Lustig says.

San Francisco March, 2017

Gerbsman Partners – Maximizing Enterprise Value

Gerbsman Partners focuses on maximizing enterprise value for stakeholders and shareholders in under-performing, under-capitalized and under-valued companies and their Intellectual Property, as well as maximizing value for Intellectual Property Patents. Since 2001, Gerbsman Partners has been involved in maximizing value for 103 technology, medical device, life science, solar, fuel cell, cyber security, consumer and digital marketing companies and their Intellectual Property and has restructured/terminated over $810 million of real estate executory contracts and equipment lease/sub-debt obligations. Since inception in 1980, Gerbsman Partners has been involved in over $2.3 billion of financings, restructurings and M & A Transaction

Gerbsman Partners has offices and strategic alliances in San Francisco, New York, McLean, VA/Washington DC, Orange County, Boston, Europe and Israel.

Technology – IP


  • Emergent Game Technologies, Inc. – Licensed and supported 3D/game software.
  • Capital Thinking – Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) platform, a credit and risk management software solution for the financial services industry.
  • Cesura – Web and on demand business software.
  • Conformia Software Inc. – Software solutions for highly regulated process industries – Life Science.
  • deNovis – Enterprise softwa re for government health and health insurance industry.
  • Aperion Inc. – Software.
  • Gentiae Inc. – Real-time fully automated processing of cardiac safety input and core lab operations. The system offers a comprehensive, real time web portal for sponsor and site access.
  • Banquet – Interactive sports entertainment.
  • ID Engines Inc. – Role-based access control (RBAC) across enterprise networks.
  • InDplay Inc. – Online, B2B video content distribution (monetization) platform, deployed on enterprise-quality software components, served in the SaaS (software-as-a-service) model.
  • Metreo Inc. – Pricing software for manufacturers and distributors.
  • Neohapsis Inc. – IT management services platform. Zone4Play – Interactive game technology.
  • Roots Web, Inc. – Geneology software.
  • StreamSearch, Inc. – Multimedia aggregator that has created a unique solution for indexing, locating, promoting, and distributing rich media on the Internet.
  • Technion University – Technology patents
  • Teranode Corporation – Business intelligence and lab automation solutions for the Life Science market.
  • USA Democracy, Inc. – Direct, verifiable, credible communications between elected representatives and their constituents through its non-partisan legislative-based website.
  • Utility.com, Inc. – Multi-utility eCommerce/eCRM technology, Web-based energy management technology.
  • Vcommerce, Inc. – Developed, deployed, and operated fully integrated, end-to-end supply chain execution systems and direct fulfillment infrastructure.
  • Intelectron, Inc. – Commercial lighting technology.
  • Skunk Technologies – Java based software
  • Bell & Howell – Information Intellectual Property/Patents

Food and Beverage Industry

  • Vigilistics, Inc. – Manufacturing analytic software


  • Dialpad, Inc. – Web-to-phone service.
  • Simpler Networks, Inc./Hercules Technology Growth Capital – Telco software – a matrix switch platform that sits within the Telco’s central office (CO) or street cabinets. Developed to allow for universal access to any service, the system’s protocol-transparent design allows it to be placed in front of any existing or future access gear that delivers services over the local loop


  • Cornice Inc. – Storage and flash controllers.
  • PhaseMetrics Inc. – Storage systems manufacturer.
  • Plasmon, Inc. – Data archival storage technology

Networking/Optical Networking

  • CipherMax, Inc. – Storage networking.
  • Private Networks, Inc. – Broadband multicast delivery system utilizing digital satellite technology. The technology has universal applicability to many industries for distribution of high-band data and video.
  • Teak Technologies Inc. – Internet switching and gateway networking products.
  • Zeus Communications, Inc. – Hardware architecture of 10 Gbps IPSec VPN and firewall in a single board.
  • Optivia, Inc & Hercules Technology Growth Capital – Optical transport systems.
  • Princeton Lightwave, Inc. – Optical networking technology
  • T-Networks, Inc. – Optical networking components.
  • Transparent Networks, Inc. – Wavelength Selective Switch, a high performance large scale Photonic cross-connect functional prototype, detailed design and simulation validation of a Light Path Exchange with integrated DWDM, an HDTV display mirror array high level design and simulation, proprietary and unique MEMS design and validation engineering tools.
  • Network Photonics, Inc.
  • Cambridge NanoTech, Inc. – Materials Science company that developed high Performance turnkey equipment for Atomic Layer Deposition (“ALD”).


  • eBiz mobility – Mobile business payment
  • YPS Software – ASP and software vendor for the PC and mobile phone industries, Mobile Entertainment Centre.
  • Teleflip – Mobile messaging.


  • Active Response Group Inc. – On line marketing company.
  • Akimbo Inc. – Monitizing on line media.
  • Competition Accessories, Inc. – Online direct marketing.
  • Gallery Player Inc. – Provider and distributor of high-value, rights managed high definition imagery for high definition televisions.
  • MeMedia Inc. – Online advertising solutions provider and ad network that delivers contextually and behaviorally targeted advertisements across a multi-modal network of websites and desktop applications.
  • MyWire Inc. – Paid content and advertising.
  • NebuAd, Inc. – Online advertising model. Next-generation digital media technology and solutions.
  • Syncapse, Inc. – Provider of technology-enabled social performance management services for global enterprise clients with multiple B2C brands.
  • Optify, Inc. – Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider of digital marketing suites company, its Assets and Intellectual Property.

Holographic & Biometric Technology – Laser Manufacturer

  • Aprilis, Inc./Dow Corning – Holographic Data Storage Drives and Biometric Security
  • Raydiance, Inc. – Manufacturer of precision solutions laser technology


  • NeoScale Inc. – Storage encryption and key management solution for organizations securing information stored on tape and disk media.
  • Oviso Inc. – Semi conductor manufacturing equipment.
  • SciCortex, Inc. – Manufacturer of high performance computers.

Medical Device

Cardiovascular, Vascular, Endoscopy, Breast Imaging

  • Cardiomind Inc. – Stent delivery platform.
  • OmniSonics Medical Technologies Inc. – Vascular disease IP.
  • InnerPulse Inc. – Cardiac rhythm management (CRM) medical device company.
  • Myocor Inc. – Developing innovative cardiac reshaping devices to treat functional mitral regurgitation (FMR) and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, both of which are significant in the progression of congestive heart failure (CHF).
  • NDO Surgical, Inc. – Flexible endoscopy technologies that enable surgical procedures through the body’s natural openings.
  • Viacor Inc. – Cardiac implant device for the treatment of functional mitral regurgitation.
  • XTENT Inc. – Customizable drug eluting stent systems for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
  • GluMetrics, Inc. – Glucose monitoring medical device company
  • NeoGraft Technologies, Inc. – Acquired Vascular Patents from Kips Bay Medical
  • Palmaz Scientific, Inc. – Medical technology company
  • InterValve, Inc. – Medical devices for structural heart market
  • Gamma Medica – first fully digital, dual headed Molecular Breast Imaging (“MBI”) system


  • Applied Spine Technologies Inc. – Screw based dynamic stabilization system validated with Class 1 clinical data
  • AxioMed Spine, Corp. – Developed Freedom technology, with the goal of restoring spinal function to patients by adhering to the natural biomechanics of the spine.


  • Emphasis Medical Inc. – Endobronchial valves for the treatment of heterogeneous emphysema.
  • Uptake Medical, Inc. –  developing innovative, therapeutic bronchoscopic devices to treat advanced heterogeneous emphysema and lung cancer.


  • NovaLign Orthopedic Inc. – Long bone fracture, intramedullary nail technology.


  • Optobionics – Retinal degeneration.
  • Refractec, Inc. – Radiofrequency (RF) device called ViewPoint CK System, used to perform NearVisionSM CK (Conductive Keratoplasty) treatment


  • Satiety Inc. – Obesity product
     •   Tarsa Therapeutics –   Oral formulation contains recombinant salmon calcitonin – treatment pf postmenopausal osteoporosis

Life Science

  • Pluristem, Inc. – Stem cell research – Israel company
  • Igenica Biotherapeutics, Inc.. – harnessing the natural tumor microenvironment to deliver a pipeline of high-impact antibody-based cancer therapeutics
  • Pegasus Biologics Inc. – Developed and is commercializing a revolutionary bioscaffold comprised of highly organized collagen, sourced from equine pericardium that encourages the healing process by addressing the demands of a challenging biological environment.
  • Radiant Medical, Inc. – Endovascular therapeutic cooling.
  • Valentis, Inc. – Biotechnology company with small molecule, antibody, protein, gene and manufacturing assets.
  • Relypsa, Inc. – Acquisition of BioPharmaceutical Patents and Intellectual Property

Energy – Solar & Fuel Cell

  • Nanosolar
  • AQT Solar
  • SVTC Solar
  • Clear Edge Power, LLC – sold to Doosan in Korea
Consumer – Retail
      •  Bambeco, Inc. – manufacturer and distributer of sustainable and socially responsible home décor and furnishings in the United States

Steven R. Gerbsman
Gerbsman Partners

BLOG of Intellectual Capital 
Skype: thegerbs

New leaked images claim to show the screen of a massive ‘iPhone X Plus’

iPhone X Hollis Johnson
  • New leaked images claim to show parts from a 2018 iPhone.
  • The photos show a large notched display that would reportedly be for an “iPhone X Plus,” a massive 6.5-inch phone said to be coming later this year.
  • The parts may not be for an Apple phone however, since the original post claims they were manufactured by LG rather than Samsung.

New leaked photos claim to show the screen of an “iPhone X Plus,” a 6.5-inch iPhone said to be coming in 2018.

The photos first showed up on the MacX forums, although the post has since been taken down. MacRumors saved the images and said the original post claims the parts are from an LG facility in Vietnam, and are part of a “trial run of production equipment.”

Apple is said to be releasing three new iPhone models in 2018: an upgraded iPhone X with a 5.8-inch OLED screen, a larger model with a 6.5-inch OLED screen, and a third iPhone model with a less expensive LCD screen.

The leaked parts would seemingly be for the larger, 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus:

—MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) February 25, 2018 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js ” data-e2e-name=”embed-container” data-media-container=”embed”>

It’s clear from the photos that the screen is larger than the iPhone X but has the roughly the same size notch at the top of the screen. According to MacRumos, the part number printed on the flex cable attached to the screen is similar to Apple’s format. Still, there’s no way to verify whether these parts are legitimate and not made for an iPhone knockoff.

Plus, if the original post is to be believed, the parts were manufactured by LG in Vietnam. While Apple did reportedly invest $2.7 billion in LG Display to build the OLED displays, Samsung was Apple’s exclusive OLED supplier for the iPhone X.

This past week a good friend celebrated the annual passing of his father.  During the religious ritual he told this story.

His father and mother were both Holocaust survivors and most of their families died in the Nazi camps.  His parents met at one of the camps and he was born in Europe.  His father and mother came to America in the mid 40’s and had nothing.  As immigrants, they worked hard to create a better and quality life for their children.

My friend described his Dad as a strong and confident person and his father was his role model.  His Dad was religious, hard working and built a small business to support the family.  His Dad taught him that “giving to charity” was a part of life and made him part of the community.

Later in senior life, this strong, gregarious and religious man suffered a stroke and was paralyzed for the last 8 years of his life.  His wife also had health issues.

Upon his wife’s passing and while he knew he had little time left, his son asked him what was the “secret of life” after all you and the family has been through.

Without hesitation he said “Life that’s hard, can be made easy” and “Life that’s easy can be made hard”.

I was very moved by the story and “words of wisdom” from my friends Dad and am sharing for all.

With respect for the memory of a Holocaust survivor and the way he and his family lived their lives.


Successful “Date Certain M&A” of Tarsa Therapeutics, Inc. its Assets and Intellectual Property – Gerbsman Partners, Financial Advisor
Steven R. Gerbsman, Principal of Gerbsman Partners and Kenneth Hardesty, a member of Gerbsman Partners Board of Intellectual Capital announced today their success in maximizing value for the assets and Intellectual Property of Tarsa Therapeutics, Inc.  Tarsa is an NDA-ready company focused on advancing it lead product, TBRIA.  TBRIA is a proprietary oral formulation containing recombinant salmon calcitonin for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Gerbsman Partners provided Financial Advisory leadership to Tarsa, through   its proprietary Date Certain M&A Process, facilitated the sale of the business unit’s assets and its associated Intellectual Property and closing of the sale. Due to market conditions, the board of directors of Tarsa made the strategic decision to maximize the value of the business unit and Intellectual Property. Gerbsman Partners provided leadership to the company with:

  1. Business Consulting and Investment Banking domain expertise in developing the strategic action plans for maximizing value of the business unit, Intellectual Property and assets;
  2. Proven domain expertise in maximizing the value of the business unit and Intellectual Property through a Gerbsman Partners targeted and proprietary “Date Certain M&A Process”;
  3. The ability to “Manage the Process” among potential Acquirers, Lawyers, Creditors, Management and Advisors;
  4. Communications with the Board of Directors, senior management, senior lenders, creditors, vendors and all stakeholders in interest.

About Gerbsman Partners

Gerbsman Partners focuses on maximizing enterprise value for stakeholders and shareholders in under-performing, under-capitalized and under-valued companies and their Intellectual Property. Since 2001, Gerbsman Partners has been involved in maximizing value for 103 technology, medical device, life science, solar, fuel cell, cyber  security, consumer and digital marketing companies and their Intellectual Property and has restructured/terminated over $810 million of real estate executory contracts and equipment lease/sub-debt obligations. Since inception in 1980, Gerbsman Partners has been involved in over $2.3 billion of financings, restructurings and M&A transactions.

Gerbsman Partners has offices and strategic alliances in San Francisco, Orange County, Boston, New York, Washington, DC, McLean, VA, Europe and Israel.