Some startup founders and venture capitalists were finally starting to regain access to their accounts at Silicon Valley Bank on Monday morning.
Technology investor Ari Newman said on Twitter that he “just got confirmation from one of our portfolio companies that their SVB funds are available and they have access this am.” VC investor Paige Craig said the firm’s founders began regaining access “to their whole account balance” at about 9:30 a.m. New York time.
Not everyone has been so lucky. Piotr Pisarz, chief executive officer of the UK startup Uncapped, said his account was not yet working. Other startup founders said the customer portal appeared to have been restored, but they couldn’t log in. Matt Clifford, CEO of the tech investor Entrepreneur First, said he was able to log in, but the process was extremely slow. (He guessed the bank was getting a lot of requests.)
Thousands of SVB customers around the world have been waiting for this moment since a run on the bank paralyzed the company’s customer portal last week — and eventually toppled the firm itself. Once they get their hands on the money, investors said, it’s clear what they need to do with it: diversify.
“What this means for the future is all companies should have more than one bank account,” Christian Meermann, a partner at venture capital firm Cherry Ventures, said in an interview. “From now on at least for us, that’s a pretty clear requirement for our portfolio companies.”
Customers who tried accessing SVB’s online portal in the Europe morning were getting a system maintenance notice, saying the banking services would be unavailable throughout the weekend but would “resume next week in accordance with the guidance provided by the FDIC.” SBV UK reassured users in a Twitter post that it expected to restart operations at some point Monday — but exactly when was unclear.
At 1:45 p.m. in Israel, Jon Medved, chief executive officer of crowdfunding venture capital firm OurCrowd said he was still waiting to get access to his accounts, but expected to be able to get to them later in the US day. Seedcamp’s head of brand Natasha Lytton said she was told the seed fund might get access at 2 p.m. London time.
Despite the lack of uniformity in access, tech and venture capital executives alike were breathing a collective sigh of relief after the US government said it would guarantee depositors’ money and HSBC Holdings Plc acquired the bank’s UK unit. Many of the bank’s small-business customers relied on these accounts for everyday tasks including making payroll.