Venture, hedge and secondary funds are bidding for stakes in startups with banking ties to SVB Financial Group’s failed Silicon Valley Bank at a steep discount.
The average bid discount for venture-backed companies traded on Vancouver-based Hiive – a platform that helps shareholders find buyers for their stakes – is now 57.3%, up from 51.7% in February. A significant proportion of companies on the platform are exposed to Silicon Valley Bank through either loans or deposits, according to Hiive founder and Chief Executive Officer Sim Desai.
Still, the number of total bids and asks dropped by a fifth since news of Santa Clara, California-based SVB’s struggles emerged late Wednesday and its Silicon Valley Bank was taken over by regulators Friday, with completed transactions falling as well, Desai said.
“Lower liquidity is a natural result of a financial shock like this, and will likely lead to lower pricing and potentially some distress,” he said. The Hiive trading platform saw a surge of more than 100% in the number of users logging in to search or view pricing for securities, likely reflecting an interest “from market participants in understanding the impact of SVB.”
Silicon Valley Bank fell into Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. receivership on Friday, after its tech startup customer base pulled deposits. The tumult left startups worried about whether they’ll have enough capital on hand to make payroll or stay afloat. The FDIC requested bids from potential buyers of SVB’s business, but moved on Sunday to assure the bank’s customers that they will be able to access their insured and uninsured deposits.
“Depositors will have access to all of their money starting Monday, March 13,” the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a joint statement Sunday.