With Silicon Valley Bank’s unexpected shutdown on Friday, startups are in a bind.
Why it matters: These new businesses are currently unable to access cash in SVB, and they are approaching deadlines for making salary and vendor contract payments.
Be wise: The companies’ funds are still there; the problem on Friday was access to them.
When the FDIC reopens the bank on Monday as promised, that issue may finally be settled.
One startup investor who did not want to be named said his firm’s portfolio companies that were SVB customers could not wire funds out of the bank starting Thursday afternoon.
The investor said a major worry for these companies is meeting payroll next week.
What’s happening: Parker Conrad, CEO of HR software startup Rippling, said the company was delayed in processing some payroll requests from its customers, many of which are other startups.
Conrad said Rippling had switched to processing outgoing payments via JPMorgan, but all in-flight payments originated from SVB would be delayed. Rippling uses SVB’s payment infrastructure to issue outgoing payments.
“Going forward, payroll runs through Rippling will have no exposure to SVB. But today’s payment delay is a result of pay runs initiated early this week, with funds in-flight through SVB. Our full focus is on getting these employees paid as quickly as possible,” Conrad tweeted.
The intrigue: Ashley Tyrner, CEO of FarmboxRx, which is an SVB customer, says venture firms gave their portfolio companies a head start.
“It seems that while the Venture Capital circle was publicly boasting their support for SVB in attempt to stabilize the panic, they were calling their portfolio companies behind closed doors telling them to move funds immediately,” Tyrner says.
“The businesses who were venture backed were at an advantage of having a heads up, while those of us who were unable to secure venture funding were left in the dust during a total system collapse.”
Yes, but: Another investor tells Axios that they are counseling startups to use the $250,000 in funds that are FDIC insured when available to make payroll and immediate financing needs like vendor contract payments.
That includes contracts for companies like Rippling, for example, as well as core services like Amazon Web Services.