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Volley Labs, Inc, a San Francisco-based company that uses artificial intelligence to build corporate training materials, is playing it safe. It declined offers from Chinese investors last year after accepting cash from Beijing-based TAL Education Group (TAL.N) as part of a financing round in 2017 tiffany cufflinks engraved. “We decided for optical reasons it just wouldn’t make sense to expose ourselves further to investors coming from a country where there is now so much by way of trade tensions and IP tensions,” said Carson Kahn, Volley’s CEO..
A Silicon Valley venture capitalist told Reuters he is aware of at least ten deals, some involving companies in his own portfolio, that fell apart because they would need approval from the interagency group known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). He declined to be named for fear of bringing negative attention to his portfolio companies. CFIUS is the government group tasked with reviewing foreign investment for potential national security and competitive risks tiffany cufflinks engraved. The new legislation expands its powers. Among them: the ability to probe transactions previously excluded from its purview, including attempts by foreigners to purchase minority stakes in U.S. startups..
China is in the crosshairs tiffany cufflinks engraved. The Asian giant has been an aggressive investor in technology deemed critical to its global competitiveness and military prowess. Chinese investors have bought stakes in ride-hailing firms Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] and Lyft, as well as companies with more sensitive technologies including data center networking firm Barefoot Networks, autonomous driving startup Zoox and speech recognition startup AISense. A dearth of Chinese money is unlikely to spell doomsday for Silicon Valley. Investors worldwide poured more than $84 billion into U.S. startups for the first three quarters of last year, exceeding any prior full-year funding, according to data provider PitchBook Inc..
Still, Chinese funders are critical to helping U.S. companies gain access to the world’s second-largest economy tiffany cufflinks engraved. Volley’s Kahn acknowledged that rejecting Chinese investment may make his startup’s overseas expansion more difficult. “Those of us who are operators and entrepreneurs feel the brunt of these tensions,” Kahn said. It is a radical shift for Silicon Valley. Money has historically flowed in from every corner of the globe, including from geopolitical rivals such as China and Russia, largely uninhibited by U.S. government scrutiny or regulation..
Reid Whitten, an attorney with Sheppard Mullin, said that of the six companies he recently advised to get CFIUS approval for their investment offers, only two have opted to file the paperwork. The others abandoned their deals or are still considering whether to proceed. “It is a generational change in the way we look at foreign investment in the United States,” Whitten said tiffany cufflinks engraved. The decline in Chinese investment comes amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington. Trump has blasted China for its enormous trade surplus and for what he claims are its underhanded strategies to obtain leading-edge American technology..