Rebirth of Silicon Valley Bank features event center and $1B in new loans

“Despite what you might have read or heard, SVB is open and operating,” executive says

Rebirth of Silicon Valley Bank Features Event Center, Loans
Silicon Valley Bank’s Marc Cadieux; SVB Experience Center, 532 Market Street, (Founder Culture, Linkedin, Getty)

Silicon Valley Bank has risen from the ashes.

The Santa Clara-based financier for tech startups, which became the nation’s second largest bank to collapse last spring, is back in business, the San Francisco Standard reported.

But it “feels a bit like a dead man walking,” according to the newspaper, which cited a “nagging feeling” the bank has drifted from its roots as the go-to bank for tech founders hungry for capital. 

After federal regulators shut it down following a panic-induced bank run, the company was bought in March by North Carolina-based First Citizens Bank for $16.5 billion. The purchase came with $72 billion in loans, including residential mortgages and commercial real estate debt.

Six months later, Silicon Valley Bank has doubled down on a come-back through marketing, advertising and a new events space in Downtown San Francisco. It’s message: We’re back.

The bank launched a tongue-in-cheek ad blitz last month that said, “Yes, SVB.” 

“Despite what you might have read or heard,” Marc Cadieux, Silicon Valley Bank’s president of commercial banking business, said in announcing the novel marketing strategy, “SVB is open and operating with the largest teams of dedicated bankers serving private equity, the innovation economy and the wine industry.”

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The bank says it sank more than $1 billion in new loans to technology and health care companies in the second quarter.

Asheesh Birla, an angel investor and board member of San Francisco-based Ripple, a block-chain firm, noticed that SVB is trying to court techies by sponsoring conferences.

The other key to winning the hearts and minds of tech workers is the SVB Experience Center in Downtown San Francisco. It has hosted tech industry events since at least May, when SVB held a happy hour and panel as part of A16Z’s Tech Week. It has held events from taco Tuesdays to techie-centered forums.

Birla says a physical presence, and swapping the stigma of the fall of Silicon Valley Bank with a reminder of its place in San Francisco’s tech community, is “bolstering their identity.

“When people walk past them and they see Silicon Valley Bank investing in a physical space, it builds a little bit of confidence,” he told the Standard. “Not only is Silicon Valley Bank still around, they’re investing in their future.”

— Dana Bartholomew

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