Svb: From Mumbai to Shanghai, tech chiefs race to contain SVB fallout


Asia’s tech leaders, half a world away from the chaos that’s engulfed Silicon Valley, are scrambling to assess the potential ramifications for an industry that’s always relied heavily on US capital and connections to supercharge growth.
Financiers and entrepreneurs packed the Shangri-La’s ballrooms during a global Wharton alumni gathering in Singapore, huddling in groups and tables over gourmet buffet meals with the latest news on Silicon Valley Bank‘s (SVB‘s) spectacular implosion on Friday a main topic of conversation.
In Mumbai, startup founders and investors at a conference talked about nothing else, exchanging rumours about which fledgling company might be the first to fall. In Shanghai, SVB’s local partner and joint venture issued memos within hours of each other, seeking to calm worries about their stability.
In the past days, the region’s tech luminaries and family offices have watched with a mix of fear and fascination at the meltdown that engulfed a decades-old bank that once carried over $200 billion of assets. The collapse sent shockwaves through Asia as major investors and sovereign funds rushed to check the exposure of their portfolios and investees to the failed lender, according to people familiar with the matter.
An Indian founder said he failed to retrieve company funds and is now left only with working capital. Another was scurrying to stop and reroute customer payments into his company’s SVB account, while also setting up new arrangements for salary payments. Three founders and a startup investor said they hadn’t slept in 48 hours.
Asia’s biggest funds including Sequoia, Temasek, ZhenFund and Yunfeng Capital reached out to their portfolio companies to gauge how much exposure they have to SVB, according to the people, who asked not to be identified.
Deposits are crucial for tech startups because they generally require a lot of cash to pay for hefty expenditures including research and development costs and staff salaries, analysts said. “If these cash deposits finally have to be impaired in the process of bankruptcy or restructuring, some tech firms may face high cash flow tension,” the analysts said. bloomberg


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