15 Mar 2023

How companies have protected themselves from the SVB collapse (Guest blog from Escrow London)

Hear from Escrow London on what the SVB collapse means for escrow.

How companies have protected themselves from the SVB collapse

On Friday 10th March, Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse rattled the tech world. Reportedly the second biggest bank collapse in US history, Silicon Valley Bank played a significant role in the tech ecosystem having been a preferred banking partner for many startups in the US and around the world.

Over the past couple of years, SVB took deposits from many ambitious startups and scaleups and invested the money in long-term bonds with a 1.5% yield. However, as the funding slowed down, SVB had not receieved enough new deposits to cover their ongoing expenses, including regular withdrawals. Therefore, they needed to sell some of the bonds at a loss, which spooked various prominent Venture Capital Funds and startups which caused a bank run.

On Monday, HSBC averted a crisis in Britain by buying SVB for £1 in a rescue deal, which is likely to save tech startups from big losses. However, as for a US Government bail-out, there has been no news on finding a buyer which will mean many US startups will run out of cash and go bankrupt in the upcoming weeks and months.

This is an extremely sad situation for startups who are trying to succeed and may fail due to no fault of their own. The collapse of SVB again highlights that companies which rely on critical technology must protect themselves from the unexpected. This is a unique situation where the technology vendors appeared to be in a pretty stable position, well-funded and growing. No one would have imagined a run on a well-established bank causing their own demise.  

From a software escrow perspective, what does this mean?

For the customers of the affected startups relying on their technology, it will be imperative to have some sort of exit plan and continuity plan if their technology vendor goes bust.

Software escrow, source code escrow and SaaS Continuity escrow can provide a good level of assurance to the end-customers if the startup company becomes a victim of the SVB collapse.

For SaaS hosted solutions within AWS Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud, SaaS escrow including a replicated environment or a deposit of the access credentials to the production environment will provide almost seamless continuity in the event of the collapse of a startup.

Software escrow or source code escrow including a deposit of the source code and other materials will provide the customer with the basic tools to continue to maintain critical software if the software vendor goes bust.

Escrow London provides software escrow services to thousands of startups globally including a large customer base in Silicon Valley. We really hope that SVB in the US will be bailed out or bought by another larger financial institution. The last thing we want to see is our customers and other startups who are trying to succeed, fall due to this unfortunate situation.

About Escrow London

Escrow London is a global SaaS escrow vendor headquartered in the United Kingdom. Our global coverage is provided across our London office, Escrow London North America Inc in Atlanta, and our Australian office in Sydney.

We have invested considerable resources into innovation to reinvent software escrow for a SaaS world. Escrow London provides a range of SaaS Continuity escrow solutions suitable for AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud hosted SaaS applications. We support a wide range of clients includes major law firms, banks, central banks, insurance companies, technology companies and government organisations.

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