CMS Cameron McKenna is launching the first-ever website to vet technology start-ups and help find them funding.
The firm is the sole provider of legal content to the new site, called FirstStageCapital. It claims it is breaking new ground by showcasing investment opportunities which have already been checked out, and then matching them to private investors and venture capitalists.
Investor FirstStage has a controlling interest in the project and will investigate the start-ups’ business plans and management before pitching them to funders.
Camerons corporate partners David Bresnick and David Day will provide all legal content to the site and will be recommended as legal advisers to the new companies as they develop.
They will target entrepreneurs seeking first stage funding of between £50,000 and £1m.
Bresnick says: “Both David Day and I specialise in private equity, technology and e-commerce.
“FirstStage approached us with its matchmaking idea at the beginning of the year and we agreed to be the strategic partners.
“The reason we are interested in doing this is because it fits with what we are doing anyway. We are doing a lot of private equity for both venture capitalists and the companies doing the start-ups, and it’s part of our strategy to build up the practice with nursery stage young businesses.”
The firm already has a policy of considering taking equity in lieu of fees for start-up clients but Bresnick says this will increase as the new venture develops.
Corporate partner Guilherme Brafman will also work on the project.