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The Silicon Valley Bank Story No One Has Told
It’s almost an eerie coincidence.
Nearly three years to the day that the World Health Organization declared the novel Coronavirus a global pandemic, Silicon Valley Bank collapsed.
The mass exodus of deposits that fled the bank in the 48-hour period between the time that SVB filed its 8K and the time the FDIC shut it down gave Americans a real-time view of what happens when there is a run on a bank.
Except this time, the bank run was led by the CEOs and founders of startups who are using technology, data, the cloud and payments to change the world — worried that their deposits would vanish.
Ironically, the venture capitalists behind many of these startups stoked the bank run that brought SVB to its knees. Between 2020 and 2022, Silicon Valley Bank’s deposit base nearly tripled, growing from $60 billion in 2020 to roughly $175 billion in 2022. Flush with cash, VCs poured capital into startups with big ideas who found SVB much more eager to do business with them than traditional, risk-averse banks. In many cases, banking at SVB was part of the terms and conditions for getting loans. SVB claimed it banked 50% of U.S. startups, and no one doubts that it was the main bank for tech startups.