Silicon Valley Bank has been on our radar for a while. Describing itself as “the only global bank dedicated to the innovation sector”, it’s a big-shot funder over in the States, and its reputation for supporting promising companies across tech-related industries reached the shores of Blighty some time ago (Cisco, Pinterest and Mozilla are among its clients).
So we’re delighted that it has just opened a branch right here in London, providing full service commercial banking services to the technology, life science, cleantech, private equity and venture capital industries. Silicon Valley Bank claims that more than half of all American VC-backed tech and life sciences companies work with it, so we’re optimistic that our home-grown tech sector – which is constantly battling funding shortages – will see the benefit over the coming years.
Back in September, when we first learned that Silicon Valley Bank would be hitting the capital, we asked its head of origination Oscar Jazdowski to write for us about why Silicon Valley Bank has come to London. He put it thus: London “offers a thriving and innovative start-up community, a world-leading financial centre, and is an important business hub (over half of the UK’s top 100 listed companies and over 100 of Europe’s largest companies are headquartered in London; over 70 per cent of the FTSE 100, and 75 per cent of the Fortune 500 have offices here).
“In short, London delivers on every level: strategic, financial, geographical… And it has excellent pubs.” Well, we can’t fault you there Oscar.
Silicon Valley Bank CEO and president Greg Becker today added: “The opening of a Silicon Valley Bank branch in London signals a significant step in the evolution of the technology sector in the UK at a time when there is strong government support for a thriving community of local innovation businesses.
“The UK branch opening is a key milestone for us and, more significantly, an example of how important high-growth technology, life science and cleantech businesses and their investors are to the global economy.”
Tech City darlings Shazam and The Foundry are among first UK businesses using service, and we hope this new wealth of funding for some of the most promising and exciting UK industries means plenty more London tech stars will follow soon.
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