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Silicon Valley Bank launches UK subsidiary

Silicon Valley Bank UK
Image credit: Silicon Valley Bank UK

California-based Silicon Valley Bank has converted its UK branch into a wholly-owned subsidiary and hired a new leadership team and board to focus on UK growth.

Founded in 1983, Silicon Valley Bank provides services to technology startups such as commercial banking, private equity and loans.

It entered the UK market in 2004 and has since invested in 48 British companies, according to Dealroom data.

Among Silicon Valley Bank’s UK branch clients are fintech Wise, cybersecurity company Snyk and venture capital firm Atomico.

The new subsidiary will be known as Silicon Valley Bank UK. It will be led by CEO Erin Platts, formerly SVB’s head of EMEA. Platts, who helped establish Silicon Valley in the UK from 2007, has been with SVB for more than 18 years.

“As we have expanded our role within the UK as the go-to bank for innovators and investors, we have hit an inflexion point and an important milestone in our growth; yet the emphasis of our business remains the same: to deliver a comprehensive financial platform for our clients and the growing innovation economy across EMEA,” said Platts.

SVB has appointed seven people to the board of the newly formed subsidiary. It will be chaired by former TSB Bank executive Darren Pope.

The decision to create a UK subsidiary, headquartered in London, will be seen as a vote of confidence in Britain at a time when tech valuations are declining and M&A activity is dropping.

Following a record year for initial public offerings (IPOs) in Britain last year, exit activity has also dried up amid a worsening economic outlook and looming recession.

“At SVB, we have witnessed significant growth of the innovation economy in the UK over the past decade. Accordingly, SVB has also experienced outstanding growth in the UK leading to the transition to a subsidiary business based on our size,” said Greg Becker, CEO of SVB Financial Group, Silicon Valley Bank parent company.

Silicon Valley Bank has grown to 650 employees across five countries in the UK and EMEA. That includes an office in Germany, which opened in 2018, and an office in Denmark, which opened in 2019.

Image credit: Silicon Valley Bank