The Collapse of Silicon Valley Bank
The bank serving half of all VC-funded startups in the US and UK collapsed more or less overnight. How did it play out, and what is the impact of this event on the tech ecosystem?
It’s been a wild weekend, starting Friday. In case you somehow missed it: we went through the fastest bank run in history, in an event that impacted about half of all VC-funded startups in the US and UK. On Friday night, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was shut down by regulators, triggering a weekend of fear and uncertainty for many people and businesses with questions like: “can we make payroll next week?” There was no certainty for startups with money in Silicon Valley Bank.
As of today (Monday) things have calmed down, but it’s not all over. In this special edition, I cover the events of this blow to the tech economy, and what we can expect:
The longer-term impact on the tech ecosystem: startups, VCs, tech workers.
Founded 40 years ago in 1983, Silicon Valley Bank was the 16th largest bank in the US, and the largest by deposits in Silicon Valley. It had $212B in assets under management and more than 37,000 customers, most of them startups and scaleups. The average deposit was around $4.5M per customer. Until Friday, that is, when this number was reduced to zero:
Half of all venture-backed companies in the US used SVB, making the bank the most important financial institution in the US startup tech sector. It wasn’t just startups, but also late-stage companies: 44% of venture-backed tech and healthcare companies which went public in 2022 were SVB customers, according to Bloomberg.