SVB, the banking crisis and climatetech

Silicon Valley Bank’s failure highlights the coming headwinds for climatetech.

On the Catalyst with Shayle Kann podcast this week:

The run on Silicon Valley Bank earlier this month was a hair-raising experience for anyone in climatetech. The bank catered to entrepreneurs in tech, especially climatetech and cleantech. So when news of SVB’s troubled assets hit social media, startups scrambled to withdraw millions of dollars and draft emergency plans to make payroll. But after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation took over SVB and another troubled regional institution, Signature Bank, the dust started to settle. The FDIC announced that it would insure the full deposits at SVB, even those above the $250,000 guarantee. 

How did this all happen? And what does it mean for climatetech today?

In this episode, Shayle talks to Saloni Multani, partner at Galvanize Climate Solutions and former chief financial officer for Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. She came on the show last May to explain what the economic downturn meant for climatetech. This time, Saloni and Shayle cover topics including:

  • What led to the problems at SVB, Signature and other banks.

  • How trends in the broader banking system signal a new environment for climatetech companies.

  • The durability of climatetech opportunities.

  • Whether other financial institutions will fill the hole left by SVB, which was a critical partner to many climatetech projects, including 62% of U.S. community solar projects.

Recommended resources:

  • The Carbon Copy: A bank collapse threatens climate startups

  • Canary: Community solar industry says it can ride out Silicon Valley Bank failure

  • The Guardian: The first Twitter-fuelled bank run’: how social media compounded SVB’s collapse

  • Catalyst: How will the downturn affect climatetech?

Come watch a live episode of The Carbon Copy! Canary Media and Post Script Media are hosting a live event at Greentown Labs in Somerville, Mass. on April 6. We’ll record a live episode of The Carbon Copy with some very special guests. Get your tickets today.

Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

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