The collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank has affected many Indian startups

by Ana Lopez

The sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, which was the lifeblood of start-ups, is also affecting companies 8,000 miles away.

Dozens of young Indian startups, backed by YC, Accel, Sequoia India, Lightspeed, SoftBank, and Bessemer Venture Partners, among others, banked with Silicon Valley Bank, sometimes as their only banking partner, and were unable to withdraw the money on time, several people familiar with the situation said.

VCs are cautious about disclosing the names of affected startups for fear that it would hurt the fledgling companies’ prospects of raising capital in the future. Regulators stepped in on Friday to shut down Silicon Valley Bank, the 16th largest in the US and the bank for most startups.

Some Indian companies were unable to transfer funds from Silicon Valley Bank on time because they did not immediately have another US bank account, many venture capitalists said.

Many Indian startups are based in Delaware to make it easier for them to raise capital from US venture firms like Y Combinator. Some SaaS companies are registered in the US because, even though they operate from India, they want to serve the international markets and be seen as a US company.

And for many companies “shifting” their home base from India to the US, Silicon Valley Bank was the preferred choice, said another person familiar with the matter, pointing to the fact that many events in India were sponsored by SVB as executives of the lender. pushed to strengthen ties with Indian companies.

Almost all Indian SaaS startups with a large presence in the US banked with Silicon Valley Bank, said a partner at one of the largest venture capital funds. More than a dozen Indian SaaS unicorns and many more “soonicorns” are headquartered in the US

Many of these young companies have not spread their funds across multiple banks because it was usually not feasible to increase administrative and operational costs in the beginning.

A US-based investor, who candidly asked for anonymity, said he was certain many Indian companies had around $4-10 million in their SVB accounts. A group of Indian YC founders surveyed members about their exposure to SVB and found that more than 60 companies had more than $250,000 parked in SVB, according to results.

Indian SaaS startups and otherwise YC-backed companies that started their businesses in the US and launched their first round there often had SVB as their default bank, Ashish Dave, India head of Mirae Asset, tweeted. “The uncertainty kills them. Growth specimens are relatively safer as they diversify.

Garry Tan, the president of Y Combinator, said more than 1,000 YC-backed startups are affected by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. “30% of YC companies exposed through SVB will not be able to run payroll for the next 30 days,” he tweeted.

The story will be updated as we learn more.

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