Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse impact on M’sian startup ecosystem

In case you’ve been studying the information currently, you may need come throughout the phrases “Silicon Valley Financial institution” and “collapse” fairly a number of occasions.
However for individuals who haven’t, right here’s what occurred.
In abstract, prospects grew involved over Silicon Valley Financial institution’s (SVB) monetary place because the financial institution had been shopping for lots of property that had been not definitely worth the value the financial institution had paid for them.
This got here to a head on March 10 when the financial institution skilled a flood of deposit withdrawal requests (US$42 billion’s value). SVB was unable to lift the money wanted for this, which led to its subsequent failure.
That is the textbook definition of a financial institution run.

Dictionary time: A financial institution run is when a lot of prospects of a financial institution or different monetary establishment withdraw their deposits on the identical time over fears concerning the financial institution’s solvency.
This led to the Federal Deposit Insurance coverage Company (FDIC)—equal to Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM) in Malaysia—to imagine management over the financial institution.  
To additional perceive the severity of the scenario and whether or not Malaysians needs to be anxious, we spoke to 2 specialists—Justin Lim, the funding precept at Nexea, and Nicholas Chong, president at Affect Consulting Kuala Lumpur.
Picture Credit score: Justin Lim / Nicholas Chong
What precisely was the issue?
To Justin, there are three points with SVB—buyer focus, threat administration, and asset legal responsibility administration.
The primary concern pertains to the truth that SVB had a big focus of depositors of the identical class—that’s, Silicon Valley startups.
As for its threat administration, Justin identified that SVB had sizeable unhedged rate of interest positions. Lastly, he believes SVB’s asset aspect of the steadiness sheet was not designed to fulfill the liquidity calls for of the deposit withdrawals.
Whereas there is perhaps many in Malaysia who’re unfamiliar with the financial institution and thus suppose it’s not a giant deal, SVB is definitely among the many high 20 largest banks in america.
Moreover, lots of the tech startups in Silicon Valley relied on SVB as their main financial institution. As a result of collapse, these startups had been abruptly unable to entry their cash, resulting in many different points for them.
The US Federal Reserve has now arrange an emergency lending facility to stem the chance of contagion.
But, regardless of this, SVB’s collapse has despatched jitters throughout the globe.
The shot heard all over the world—together with Malaysia
Whereas SVB depositors had been probably the most affected by this collapse, the incident’s impacts extends past that, inflicting shockwaves throughout the market.
Picture Credit score: Tony Webster
“Traders and different startups that weren’t depositors of SVB had been additionally attempting to evaluate their publicity to the banks,” Nicholas identified. “Are their buyers uncovered? Are their suppliers affected? Would the banks observe go well with?”
He continued, “Markets in Malaysia have positively reacted, particularly financial institution shares. Nevertheless, that is seemingly a knee-jerk response from concern of a systemic contagion.”
From what Justin sees, although, the native startup scene is unaffected by this.
“As for NEXEA, it’s enterprise as standard—busy constructing the ecosystem with Cradle within the MyStartup accelerator,” he commented.
Are the troubles justified?
Each Justin and Nicholas suppose it’s impossible we’ll see comparable incidents in Malaysia.
“Malaysian banks are extremely regulated by BNM, and they’re more likely to have a lot better threat administration practices in comparison with SVB,” he assured.
Deputy finance minister Steven Sim has additionally spoken up and mentioned that an evaluation made by native monetary authorities have affirmed that Malaysia’s banking system stays aggressive and resilient.
Banks are one factor—what concerning the sentiments of these within the startup ecosystem? Has it caught the contagion?
“I additionally know of a number of startups in Malaysia who had been involved about oblique exposures to SVB, probably via their buyers or by way of systemic contagion,” he mentioned. “Luckily, the affect to Malaysia appears to be largely muted, other than some market jitteriness.”
Evaluating it to the Lehman Brothers’ chapter that performed a hand within the 2008 monetary disaster—a comparability many have been doing—SVB’s crash appears to be far more contained.
As Nicholas put it, SVB’s collapse seems to be idiosyncratic in nature and never an indicator of a bigger, brewing matter.  
Justin believes that until they’ve been invested in by a US establishment, it’s unlikely that startups in Malaysia shall be affected.
“Aside from the chance of a regional late-stage funding slowdown, we don’t count on any impact on Malaysian early-stage startups,” Justin added. “In spite of everything, nearly all of Malaysia’s enterprise funding comes from native establishments and people.”
“If something, South East Asia’s boring however secure banking regime highlights the advantages of fine regulation.”
Classes to be taught
Each Justin and Nicholas appear to be relatively optimistic concerning the scenario. It is perhaps true that the Malaysian panorama stays secure, however there are these within the West speculating that it will have repercussions for years to return, particularly within the tech startup sector.
For one, distinguished startup accelerator Y Combinator has been very vocal concerning the collapse. Its CEO Garry Tan tweeted that 30% of SVB depositors shall be liable to not with the ability to make payroll and has thus began a petition calling on the US Congress to behave on the collapse.
In line with SVB’s personal web site, 11 of 15 Y Combinator startups with IPOs financial institution with SVB. Not solely that, seven of these started with SVB Startup Banking.
For context, Y Combinator has supported Malaysian corporations similar to Durioo and Pandai.
In any case, there should be classes to achieve from this occurring. Some have drawn a parallel between SVB’s crash to what may occur to Malaysia’s EPF ought to it’s unable to liquidate. Others suppose it reveals the fickleness of crypto.
Maybe, this event additionally highlights the significance of trusting dwelling banks, and why dwelling banks must also do extra to help our native startup ecosystem.
And for the on a regular basis particular person—that is additionally reminder to not put all of your eggs (and investments) in a single basket.  

Learn different articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups right here.

Featured Picture Credit score: Silicon Valley Financial institution / Wiki Commons