EMERGENCY POD: $SVIB implodes, contagion risk, advice for founders, and what’s next? | E1696 | Summary and Q&A

March 10, 2023
This Week in Startups
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EMERGENCY POD: $SVIB implodes, contagion risk, advice for founders, and what’s next? | E1696


Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is facing a potential shutdown, impacting thousands of companies and venture firms that bank with them.

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Key Insights

  • 🧑‍💻 SVB's shutdown is an unprecedented event in Silicon Valley, causing panic and uncertainty throughout the tech and venture capital community.
  • 🧑‍🌾 The failure of SVB could have far-reaching consequences as many startups and venture firms rely on the bank for loans, operating cash, and financial services.
  • 😘 The current situation highlights the potential risks associated with overfunding startups in a low-interest rate environment, leading to a lack of focus on efficiency and financial stability.
  • ❓ The government or a buyer could potentially intervene to prevent further disruptions and stabilize the situation, but the actual outcome remains uncertain.


okay everybody Welcome to a live emergency pod if you're not following us on YouTube you could have listened to this live this came out shortly after we taped it on YouTube .com this week in no spaces no dashes we'll get you to our Channel hit the Subscribe button next to the Subscribe button is a bell if you click the Bell if I go live you'll get ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does SVB's shutdown affect startups trying to raise seed rounds?

The shutdown will likely cause significant distractions and delays in the fundraising process, as investors will be cautious and uncertain about providing capital during this period of instability.

Q: What happens to companies with credit facilities with SVB?

It is uncertain what will happen to credit facilities, but it is possible they may become void. Startups relying on these facilities should prepare for potential disruptions in their financial operations.

Q: Will SVB's shutdown have a domino effect on other banks?

There is a possibility that the SVB shutdown could impact other banks, especially those closely interconnected with SVB's operations. It may lead to increased caution and potential repercussions across the financial sector.

Q: How will startups with deposits exceeding $250,000 be affected?

Startups with larger deposits may face significant risks, as the FDIC insurance only covers up to $250,000. They might have to accept a receivership certificate for the remaining uninsured funds and wait for potential future dividend payments.


In this emergency pod episode, the host discusses the shutdown of Silicon Valley Bank and its potential impact on the tech industry. The bank's deposits had rapidly increased in the past two years, but it faced a crisis when the value of its long-term investments declined as interest rates rose. The bank announced significant losses and the need to raise capital, which triggered a bank run and panic among customers and investors. The CEO assured that the bank is solvent and working to strengthen its balance sheet, but the situation remains uncertain.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the potential impact of Silicon Valley Bank's shutdown?

The shutdown of Silicon Valley Bank could have severe consequences for the tech industry. Many startups and venture capital firms rely on the bank for their operations and funding. If the bank fails to resolve its issues, it could lead to a cash crisis for startups and jeopardize their ability to make payroll or raise additional funds.

Q: What is the significance of Silicon Valley Bank in the tech industry?

Silicon Valley Bank is considered a vital institution in Silicon Valley. It serves as the bank of choice for many tech and life science startups, as well as venture capitalists. The bank's reputation and relationships within the industry make it a crucial player, and its failure could have far-reaching implications.

Q: What caused Silicon Valley Bank's financial crisis?

The bank's financial crisis was primarily caused by its investment decisions and the rise in interest rates. Silicon Valley Bank had purchased a large amount of mortgage-backed securities and U.S. treasuries, which declined in value when interest rates rose. This resulted in significant paper losses for the bank. To offset these losses, the bank announced plans to sell its long-term investments at a loss and raise additional capital.

Q: How are startups with credit facilities affected by the shutdown?

Startups with credit facilities from Silicon Valley Bank may face difficulties as the bank goes through its crisis. If the bank is acquired, the new owner may assume the credit facilities and continue to provide funding. However, if the bank fails to resolve its issues, the credit facilities may become void, and startups would need to find alternative sources of funding.

Q: What about startups with venture debt?

Similar to startups with credit facilities, those with venture debt from Silicon Valley Bank may face uncertainties. If the bank is acquired, the new owner would likely assume the venture debt and work out new arrangements with the startups. In the meantime, startups may choose to withhold payments until the situation is clarified.

Q: How does this situation affect fundraising for startups?

The shutdown and uncertainty around Silicon Valley Bank could have a significant impact on fundraising for startups. Investors may become more cautious and hesitant to invest in startups associated with the bank. The crisis may also lead to a temporary halt in meetings between investors and founders, as investors focus on managing their existing portfolios.

Q: What actions are recommended for founders in light of this situation?

Founders are advised to closely monitor the situation and take necessary precautions. It is prudent to keep minimal funds in cash accounts at Silicon Valley Bank, as the current crisis may affect the availability of funds. Additionally, founders should consider exploring alternative banking options and diversifying their financial relationships to mitigate risks associated with the shutdown.

Q: Are there any potential solutions to this crisis?

There are two possibilities for resolving the crisis. First, a large bank with a strong balance sheet could acquire Silicon Valley Bank and ensure that customers have access to their funds. Second, the government may intervene and provide a backstop to prevent a complete failure, but this option may be controversial. In both cases, it is important for stakeholders, including the government, to have some form of senior debt or equity stake to protect public interests.

Q: Is there a likelihood of a government bailout for Silicon Valley Bank?

While it remains uncertain, some experts believe that a government bailout could be considered if the situation becomes dire. However, given the nature of the bank's clientele and reputation, it might face significant public backlash. Any government intervention should prioritize protecting public interests and include provisions for the government to recoup its investment.

Q: What are the potential implications for the tech industry as a whole?

The shutdown of Silicon Valley Bank could have a ripple effect on the entire tech industry. The loss of a major banking partner and potential cash crisis for startups may lead to layoffs, decreased funding opportunities, and a general slowdown in the ecosystem. The situation highlights the risks of over-reliance on one institution and the need for diversification in financial relationships.


The shutdown of Silicon Valley Bank and its potential impact on startups and the tech industry is a cause for concern. The crisis highlights the dangers of overreliance on one financial institution and the need for diversification in financial relationships. Founders are advised to keep a close eye on the situation, explore alternative banking options, and diversify their financial strategies. The outcome of this crisis and the potential government intervention remain uncertain, but it serves as a reminder of the need for resilience and preparedness in the volatile tech industry.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • SVB, the backbone of the tech and life science startup community, has been shut down by the FDIC due to financial instability.

  • Depositors with insured funds will have access to their deposits, but uninsured depositors will receive a receivership certificate and may have to wait for future dividend payments.

  • The shutdown could have severe second and third-order impacts, potentially causing layoffs, missed payrolls, and distress among affected companies.

  • The government or a buyer may rescue SVB in an attempt to stabilize the situation.

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