Atlanta entrepreneur not giving up on Silicon Valley Bank
Despite the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), an Atlanta tech entrepreneur isn’t yet pulling all of his money out of the troubled bank.
James Oliver began doing business with SVB in September, depositing what he called a “substantial amount” into an account.
He’s the founder and CEO of Kabila, a networking app, and saw SVB as a chance to grow his tech startup.
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That’s because it linked “so many of the organizations and people that we might need to get to on our startup journey.”
Indeed, the Santa Clara, California-based bank serves mostly tech workers and startups, including some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names.
But when Oliver heard the news Friday of the bank’s failure, he took pause.
“Naturally, I was like ‘holy crap,’” he told Channel 2′s Bryan Mims.
Oliver then requested a transfer of some of his money from SVB into an account he has at Brex, a financial service and technology firm based in San Francisco.
“And I was just hopeful that the government would resolve the issue, that our money would still be there come Monday morning, so naturally there was a little bit of anxiety about that,” he said.
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As Monday morning came, his money was still there and insured at SVB, but he said he was not ready to move everything out of the bank.
“I was not intending to close that account, and as of right now I will not close that account until I get some visibility about what’s going on with Silicon Valley Bank,” he said.
What he’d like to see is for a suitor to buy SVB and make it solvent again.
“Silicon Valley Bank has been very helpful to a lot of startup founders and a lot of wonderful initiatives for founders like me,” he said.
As for what the bank collapse means to the growth of his business, Oliver said it’s unclear.
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“That’s the concern: is this contained, or will it be more contagion?” he said. “Because if it’s contagion (and more banks fail) it’s not just startups that get hurt, it’ll be everyone that will be affected.”
He blames the bank’s collapse on what he calls an “unnecessary” and “avoidable” run on the bank last week.
Customers withdrew $42 billion in deposits by the end of Thursday.
“And I think if it’s possible to continue to do business with Silicon Valley Bank, and to support them – because I know they care about issues that matter to me. I would keep my money there,” Oliver said.
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