Ireland's Isif in talks with HSBC to secure start-up funds after SVB crisis

Stock image. Photo: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

Caoimhe Gordon

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (Isif) has confirmed that it is speaking to HBSC about future funding for Irish startups following the lender’s takeover of Silicon Valley Bank’s UK arm last week.

Silicon Valley Bank had been a prominent funder of growing Irish tech companies since 2012 following  a partnership with Isif.

Isif director Nick Ashmore told the Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment that the fund was “hopeful" as it engaged with HSBC to see what its future plans for SVB’s UK business are.

“Its lending capacity has not been lost to the Irish market, which is solid news,” he told the Committee this afternoon.

A spokesperson for the State fund confirmed last week that Isif had around $100m (€92.7m) invested in five investment funds managed by SVB Capital, which was a subsidiary of SVB Financial Group.

The spokesperson added that the fund had received distributions worth more than $100m over the past decade.

The talks between Isif and HSBC follow the bank's purchase of the Californian lender’s UK arm last week after its dramatic collapse earlier this month.

HSBC group chief executive Noel Quinn said last week that the deal “strengthens our commercial banking franchise and enhances our ability to serve innovative and fast-growing firms, including in the technology and life-science sectors, in the UK and internationally.”