Kevin Vela

Partner

Kevin Vela is the managing partner at Vela Wood. He focuses his practice in the areas of venture financing, fund representation, M&A, and gaming law. In recent years, he has represented both startups and investors in hundreds of convertible instrument and equity financing transactions ranging from angel rounds through Series C rounds. Kevin was selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star five times, has been honored by D Magazine as a Best Lawyer in Dallas twice, including most recently in 2020, and is a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow, an honor granted to 1/3 of 1% of Texas attorneys. Kevin speaks, reads, and writes fluent Spanish, and is able to provide bilingual representation on request.

The mode by which the inevitable comes to pass is effort.

– Justice Holmes

Kevin is a graduate of the University of Texas, where he earned his bachelor degree in business administration and juris doctorate degree with honors. Prior to law school, Kevin spent seven years in Dallas, working in finance and marketing. Although he began his career working for Fortune 500 companies, an entrepreneurial spirit led Kevin to pursue roles in several startup companies. Later, he started his own business, a test preparation company. Having scored in the top five percent on the GMAT, LSAT, and GRE, Kevin used his test taking expertise to help thousands of students increase their scores and gain admission to graduate school.

Kevin is active in the business and startup communities. He is the Chair of the Texas State Bar Committee for Law Focused Education. He currently teaches Introduction to Venture Transactions at SMU Dedman School of Law and is a part of the Dallas Business Journal Leadership Trust, a network of influential business leaders in Dallas. Kevin is active in promoting a responsible gaming agenda in Texas and is a board member of the Fantasy Sports Gaming Association. He is also a member of Digital Dallas and is the Chairman of the Board of the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association (which puts on the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dallas).

He is a mentor for REVTECH, a leading venture fund and accelerator. Kevin is a founding member of The Dallas Angel Network (the “DAN”), a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs with angel investors in Dallas. Further, Kevin co-manages a Dallas-based venture capital fund, Blossom Street Ventures, which is currently on its sixth fund.

Raised in Arlington, Kevin is an avid Dallas sports fan. Although he used to enjoy spending time at the local sporting arenas around town with his wife, Layla, they now spend most of their time pandering to their two children, Ariana and Arman.

SELECT TRANSACTIONS

  • General Counsel to numerous venture funds and accelerators
  • Conducted hundreds of Seed stage through C rounds valued at $250k – $15M
  • Represented defi SOLUTIONS in its $55M equity investment from Bain Capital Ventures and subsequent merger with Sagent Auto
  • Represented Modern Message in its exit to RealPage
  • Represented a Dallas-based senior home care company in a $13M exit
  • Represented a Dallas-based software company in a $12M exit
  • Represents dozens of DFS and Fantasy Sports Companies



Kevin Vela's Recent Blog Posts

IRS States That DFS Operators Are Liable For Excise Tax

August 20, 2020  |  By Kevin Vela

A recent IRS Internal Memorandum has ruled that DFS operators must pay federal excise taxes on entry fees, a viewpoint that, if enforced, could have widespread effects on the fantasy industry. Read More

Posted in Fantasy Sports & Gaming

The Mechanics of Converting Convertible Notes

August 13, 2020  |  By Kevin Vela

Convertible notes are a great tool for venture financing, however, the actual mechanics of converting convertible notes is not a simple task and requires great care. Read More

Posted in Funding & Capital Raising

Understanding The New Post-Money Safe

August 28, 2019  |  By Kevin Vela

While Y Combinator’s new Post-Money SAFE did simplify the process for calculating early-stage equity, it may become problematic under two scenarios. Read More

Posted in Funding & Capital Raising