A Leicester founder has heaped praise on the UK tech community and thanked the government after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which left him on the brink of losing tens of millions of pounds.
Callum McKeeferey sold his startup Reviews.io last November for more than $70-million, which he deposited in SVB.
SVB was a specialist in working with tech companies and “designed for founders and entrepreneurs”. Talking to The Times, Callum said he chose the bank because they understood his business and were able to help him connect with the right people and help them expand.
However, when the bank attempted to raise funds recently it panicked investors, who quickly tried to withdraw their funds. Days later, US regulators shut the bank down and seized its assets. It’s the biggest bank collapse sine 2008.
This left the Leicester entrepreneur, and many other UK customers of the bank, worried about their money. For Callum, that was around £50-million, some of which was planned to be spent on funding scientific research into rare genetic conditions like the one his son suffers from.
More than a 800 UK tech figures signed a letter calling for the Prime Minister to step in. Then this past week HSBC swooped in to buy the UK arm of SVB for just £1, after talks led by the government and the Bank of England.
This came as a massive relief to thousands of British founders, including Callum. He said on Linkedin:
“That was a very painful 72hrs.”
“Im very thankful for Jeremy Hunt & HSBC…. Now that is a sentence I never thought I would say.”
Speaking to The Times reporter Katie Prescott, he added:
“The UK government has handled this amazingly. I think the government has saved the tech sector and that creates trust.
I am so proud of how everyone pulled together so quickly. We always say we’ve got a tech community in the UK, but this weekend really showed it.”