European startups get a shot in the arm this week with the launch of Silicon Valley Bank in London today. Known for its understanding of the tech space, SVB will target the technology and life science sectors.
It will make loans of between £300,000 and £30 million to tech companies looking to expand. Shazam and The Foundry are already UK clients.
In the U.S., where it has made $7 billion in loans, clients include Cisco Systems, Mozilla and Pinterest. It also acts as a bank for investors including NEA, Sequoia Capital and Silver Lake. In the UK the bank is working with Index Ventures and Balderton Capital among others.
The problem with existing retail banks is that they rarely serve smaller tech companies which are unlikely to have three years worth of accounts yet, or any sales when they start up. SVB aims to bridge that gap...