Business Irish

Friday 9 December 2016

Silicon Valley Bank set to double Irish lending pot

Published 12/05/2016 | 02:30

SVB said it now expects to deploy an extra $100m of new lending to Irish tech and life sciences firms over the next five years, from its operations in the US and UK. Photo: Bloomberg
SVB said it now expects to deploy an extra $100m of new lending to Irish tech and life sciences firms over the next five years, from its operations in the US and UK. Photo: Bloomberg

Silicon Valley Bank - the Californian tech sector lender - is doubling the amount of money it is lending to fast-growing Irish technology companies.

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The bank committed $100m (€96m) in 2012, and is now committing a further $100m through the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF).

The bank's customers in Ireland are across the technology and life sciences sectors, and they include Accuris, Boxever, Clavis Insight, Movidius and Profitero.

The Irish Independent reported last month that SVB has now placed a permanent representative in Ireland for the first time.

SVB said it now expects to deploy an extra $100m of new lending to Irish tech and life sciences firms over the next five years, from its operations in the US and UK.

Phil Cox, president of EMEA and the head of Silicon Valley Bank's UK Branch, praised the level of entrepreneurs in Ireland.

"We're pleased to have met so many fantastic entrepreneurs in Ireland over the last four years, and are looking forward to expanding our relationships with Irish innovators with this new financial commitment," Mr Cox said.

"We'd like to thank the Irish Government and particularly the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund for their support, collaboration and proactive approach to building the innovation economy locally."

Silicon Valley Bank lends to Irish technology companies and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund helps it to identify potential lending clients in these niche sectors and also invests in funds managed by SVB Capital.

Silicon Valley Bank's parent company, SVB Financial Group, has established a presence in Ireland with the appointment of Clive Lennox, who has moved from London to Dublin as director of Irish business development.

Eugene O'Callaghan, ISIF director, said Ireland's emerging and high-growth technology and life sciences companies have enormous potential.

"Silicon Valley Bank has shown it can apply its specialist lending expertise and relationships to a critical gap in the Irish market and we look forward to seeing more Irish companies benefit from their dedication to the Irish market over the next five years," Mr O'Callaghan said.

Last month, Gerald Brady, head of UK relationship banking with SVB, told the Irish Independent that the lender is well over halfway towards its initial target to lend $100m into Irish firms, but declined to give a specific figure.

He also heaped particular praise on Collison brothers, John and Patrick, who founded online payments company Stripe.

They launched Stripe Atlas earlier this year, which lets budding entrepreneurs in developing countries begin trading online through a connection to a US bank account, online payment system (Stripe) and US incorporated company registration.

To further this, Stripe has teamed up with a number of financial, legal and professional services firms, including SVB.

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