‘Lungs of the startup world’: bank fall upends most Silicon Valley industries

  • March 15, 2023
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Demise of Silicon Valley Bank has rattled not just businesses and investors but the ecosystem that grew up around it

Startup founders, venture capitalists and aspirational entrepreneurs descended on Austin on Friday for the annual South by Southwest conference as they do every year. But as the day wore on, a sense of fear and confusion began to take hold amid the usual energy and buzz in the Texas capital.

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a financial institution that had become the go-to bank for nearly half of all venture-backed tech startups and many in the healthcare sector, was collapsing. Major venture capital firms and startup incubators including Y Combinator and Founders Fund had advised their founders to reduce exposure to SVB. The industry began to panic.

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