Richard Horton is an experienced, dual-qualified US and Australian corporate and technology lawyer, advising clients in both the US (in particular Silicon Valley) and Australia.

    Richard works primarily with emerging growth and later stage tech companies in a variety of industries, including digital media, internet, music, consumer products, software, computer hardware, semiconductors and semiconductor manufacturing equipment, medical devices, biotechnology, and clean energy technologies. Richard concentrates on:

    • Tech-sector venture capital and strategic financings (including pre-IPO funding rounds)
    • Private equity and family office transactions
    • Tech-sector M&A transactions
    • Strategic IPO advice
    • Strategic intellectual property advice (including complex IP and technology development and licensing transactions, patent licensing, patent pools and pre-infringement patent counselling)
    • International manufacturing and distribution transactions

    Richard has deep experience helping Australian venture funds and technology companies doing business in the US and regularly works with US and offshore multinationals doing US and Australian law deals in Australia. He has been involved in some of Silicon Valley’s largest M&A transactions and has negotiated numerous venture financing transactions in both the US and Australia. He has also negotiated a broad range of complex intellectual property and technology development and licensing and manufacturing transactions.

    Richard speaks regularly to incubators, research institutes, universities, industry bodies and government groups on US and Australian venture financing, tech sector M&A transactions, IP strategy and licensing, and general corporate and commercial law topics. He is also regularly engaged by the media to discuss issues relating to the burgeoning Australian and Silicon Valley tech scene.

    Before joining the firm, Richard was a senior associate in the Sydney office of a global law firm (spending 12 months on secondment at Telstra Corporation). In late 1999, he moved to the US where he spent five years in the Silicon Valley office of a US-based global law firm, three years as a partner in the San Francisco office of a large Australia-based international corporate law firm and six years as a partner in the Silicon Valley (Palo Alto) office of a large multinational law firm.

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    REPRESENTATIVE CLIENTS

    • Accelerators/Incubators:
      • Startmate
      • UNSW Innovations
      • muru-D (Telstra Corporation accelerator)
      • AWI Ventures
      • Ignition Labs
      • Pushstart
    • AQT Solar, Inc. (thin film (CIGS) solar)
    • Blackbird Ventures
    • Boeing Energy, Inc. (renewable energy technologies)
    • BrightTag, Inc.
    • Brisbane Materials Holdings, Inc (thin materials sciences)
    • Bugcrowd, Inc. (crowdsourced bug-fixing)
    • Carbon Energy Limited (underground coal gasification (UCG))
    • CSIRO
    • Fitbit, Inc.
    • Good Software
    • Grabble (point of sale e-receipt generation)
    • Harrison AI
    • 1ICT
    • LanzaTech Limited (biofuels)
    • Lifi Labs, Inc. (wireless LED; set Kickstarter record)
    • Moser Baer India Limited (data storage)
    • Moser Baer PhotoVoltaic Limited (photovoltaics manufacturer)
    • National ICT Australia (NICTA)
    • Ninja Blocks, Inc. (internet of things)
    • OptoAtmospherics (wind laser tech spint-out of Michigan Aerospace)
    • Precise Light Surgical Pty Limited (surgical laser)
    • Pythagoras Solar, Inc. (building integrated photovoltaics)
    • Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund
    • Qualtrics, Inc.
    • Salesforce.com
    • Scatec (Scandinavian renewable energy)
    • SEEK
    • Sezzle, Inc.
    • Southern Cross Venture Partners
    • Spaceship Financial
    • Square Peg Capital
    • Snappr
    • SunEdison, Inc. (utility scale solar)
    • Telstra Ventures
    • UpGuard, Inc.
    • Work180

    REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

    • AQT Solar: Series A-C venture financings, and numerous bridge and convertible note financings; clean energy technology development and licensing transactions. 
    • Blackbird Ventures: venture investment in Shoes of Prey. 
    • Brisbane Materials: venture financing with renewable energy venture capital fund; manufacturing and licensing transactions. 
    • Bugcrowd: negotiate convertible note financing. 
    • Grabble: acquisition by Walmart. 
    • Moser Baer India Limited: negotiate complex patent pool licensing transactions with Philips, Hitachi, JVC. 
    • Moser Baer PhotoVoltaic Limited: negotiate various rounds of venture investments in SolFocus, Stion, Skyline Solar, Solaria. 
    • Moser Baer India Limited: acquisition of Kodak Digital Media Group. 
    • Playboy Enterprises: international broadcast management platform licensing deal with Pilat Media for Playboy TV and video. 
    • Precise Light Surgical: Series A investment from Southern Cross Venture Partners and Softbank China (IIF). 
    • Scatec Solar: sale of various solar project and renewable energy assets in California, Utah and Hawaii. 
    • Southern Cross Venture Partners and Softbank China (IIF) venture investment in Big Tin Can Pty Ltd. 
    • SunEdison: acquisition of numerous solar projects in California. 
    • Telstra Ventures:
      • Series D investment in Kony Solutions, Inc. (US$18.3 million); 
      • Series E investment in Ooyala, Inc. (US$35 million); 
      • Series F investment in Ooyala, Inc. (US$43 million); 
      • Series E-1 investment in Box, Inc. (co-investment in total US$100 million round).
    • Yahoo! acquisition of MusicMatch, Inc. and Hotjobs, Inc. 
    • Zookal: Convertible note financing. 
    • Startmate: numerous Series Seed financings with portfolio companies.

     

    Education

    • The University of Sydney, LL.B., 1990
    • University of New South Wales, B.Comm., 1990
    • University of New South Wales, LL.B., 1990

    Admissions

    • California
    • New South Wales

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • Mentor, StartMate, UNSW Founders Program, muru-D, Commercialization Australia, Pushstart, Ignition Labs, River City Labs, iLab
    • US National Venture Capital Association
    • AVCAL (Australian Venture Capital Association Limited)
    • Licensing Executives Society (Australia, US and Canada)

    PUBLICATIONS & SEMINARS

    • The Venture Law Meetup monthly tech sector law and business seminar from 2017 – present on topics including the following:
      • Negotiating venture financing transactions
      • Tech Sector M&A transactions
      • Convertible note and SAFE financings (Australia and US)
      • ASX listings and IPOs for tech companies
      • Private equity in Australia
      • Tax incentives in the tech sector
    • Squire Patton Boggs Venture Capital Seminar Series:
      • “Convertible Note Financings;”
      • “Incentivizing Employees – Understanding Options for Options and Other Forms of Equity-based Compensation;”
      • “Making the Move to Silicon Valley: When to Flip, and Why;”
      • “Intellectual Property Issues for Startups and Later Stage Technology Companies;”
      • “Negotiating Venture Financing Transactions.”
    • “Founders, Financings and IP Strategy,” NICTA, Sydney, Australia, August 2013.
    • “Making the Pilgrimage to Silicon Valley: To Flip or Not to Flip,” River City Labs, Brisbane, Australia, March 7, 2013.
    • “Financings, Founders and IP Strategy for Australian Startups Moving to Silicon Valley,” River City Labs, Brisbane, Australia, June 2012.
    • “Meet the Founders Series” (US and Australian Venture Financings), NICTA, Melbourne University, May 31, 2012.
    • “US Venture Financings, Founders and IP Strategy,” Fishburners/Pushstart, May 2012.
    • “Venture Financing Transactions in Silicon Valley,” Santa Clara Law School, Santa Clara, California, April 13, 2009.
    • “The Future of the Solar Industry – What is Next?,” Licensing Executives Society of Silicon Valley, June 19, 2008.
    • Recommended in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018 and 2019 in Corporate and M&A, Australia
    • Recommended as a leading Information Technology Law and Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer in Best Lawyers in Australia since 2017
    • Finalist for Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year Awards 2016, Technology, Media & Communications category
    • Recommended in the 2014 edition of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific

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