Venture First provides a portfolio of independent valuation services for entrepreneurs, venture capital funds, private equity funds, family offices and estates, ranging from the simple to the complex. Originally founded as a specialty valuation firm, we continue to assist clients with a suite of targeted equity and derivative valuation services and use a data-intense approach to deliver true valuation intelligence.

Our team uses IRS- and SEC- compliant methodologies, provides extensive audit support, and has a pristine audit record with the Big Four and dozens of other regional accounting firms. Our professionals are experts in complex capital structures and have deep industry experience in technical industries, ranging from life sciences to information technology. Because of our strong analyst pool in Louisville, KY and our technology-driven infrastructure, we are able to offer rapid turnaround and cost-effective pricing to our clients.

Since every client company is unique, Venture First performs a variety of tailored specialty equity and derivative valuation services, including the following:

Equity Compensation (409a)

For companies issuing shares, options, RSU’s or other equity-based compensation to management, a 409a valuation provides safe harbor from IRS scrutiny of the underlying security value and is typically requested by accountants to satisfy audit requirements. Venture First delivers an in-depth 75+ page report in one week that satisfies these requirements, using an entreprenuer-friendly process. It is typically recommended to have this exercise performed once every 12 months or upon any material change in the Company’s operations, including equity and debt financing.

Portfolio Valuation (ASC 820)

Fund managers must mark their portfolios to market quarterly for financial reporting standards. Though some funds choose to do this internally, Venture First provides an efficient alternative for portfolio valuation that saves a great deal of time each quarter. Many LPs are now requesting that this exercise be performed by a third party group to maintain objectivity. Our professionals work hand-in-hand with portfolio managers to understand nuances, while alleviating the burden of gathering data from portfolio companies and sourcing guideline comparables for analysis.

Complex Derivatives

Companies often need to value complex derivatives, typically at the request of their auditors to satisfy financial reporting requirements. Venture First performs detailed valuations of these securities using Monte Carlo simulation, Binomial Lattices, and other custom scenario modeling. Our analysts are comfortable dissecting complicated scenarios and capturing their underlying values accurately.


Early-stage companies, especially life science ventures, frequently spin out a business segment or technology into a new entity. Venture First assists in valuing the spun out entity for financial reporting, tax compliance and other shareholder needs.

Estate & Gift Tax

Venture First provides detailed, fully supported valuations for estate and gift tax purposes. We provide opinions of value for estate tax calculations, gifting of closely-held stock and partnership interests. Venture First also supports Family Limited Partnership and Limited Liability Company valuation needs, including entities holding real estate, marketable securities or closely-help common stock. For planning purposes, Venture First frequently provides consulting services in preparation for gifting securities, charitable donations, buy/sell agreements, or estate planning.

Financial Reporting

Auditors are typically conflicted in performing valuation for financial reporting purposes. Venture First works closely with management and auditors to value a company’s various share classes, as well as other securities or contingencies that need to be quantified for reporting purposes. We have repeated success with Big Four accounting groups, as well as other leading regional accounting firms.