Silicon Valley Bank joins hands with Founders Forum, takes part-ownership stake

Deal cements SVB's long-running partnership with the Founders Forum.
Silicon Valley Bank joins hands with Founders Forum, takes part-ownership stake

Venture debt giant Silicon Valley Bank is taking up an equity stake in startup incubator Founders Forum Group.

The global partnering agreement will see SVB's UK CEO Erin Platts join FF's board of directors. 

Under the agreement, SVB UK will also become a "leading partner" to FF's global events calendar, including the annual forums in London, Berlin and New York.

Platts is expected to bring expertise from her track record of financing innovation and new businesses through SVB's UK and Europe venture pipeline.

Alongside the Founders Forum team, she will aim to deliver various events programming and content to give startups more contacts, market/industry knowledge and thought leadership.

FF-backed entrepreneurs stand to gain direct connections to SVB's venture debt services offering. SVB's clients on the other hand will have access to Founders Fund scaling initiatives. On both sides, the ambition is to collaborate across a wide range of industry verticals, and across geographical markets.

In October, Platts told City AM she believed UK startups were raising more venture debt this year as VC across Europe has diminished, with energy prices, interest rates and market jitters cited as big reasons for what looks to be a downturn.

In a press release issued yesterday, Platts noted Founders Forum has partnered with the UK SVB subsidiary before, and she expects it to remain aligned on innovation into the future.

"This exciting global partnership and part-ownership stake is an investment in our ongoing relationship with Founders Forum and commitment to support the next generation of entrepreneurs, from early-stage startups and scaleups, to large corporations and investors," Platts said.

Founders Forum launched in 2005 with the aim of emulating Silicon Valley's peer-to-peer entrepreneur networks in Europe. Aside from the events described above, it has also hosted meetups in Paris, Tel Aviv, Mumbai and Hong Kong.

FF's CEO Carolyn Dawson suggested SVB and FF broadly agreed on what it takes for an investor to fuel a startup's growth dreams. "SVB is a great brand with a similar growth strategy to ours," Dawson said. "They're focused on fuelling the founders of the future, making them an ideal partner as we seek to expand our remit to help more founders be successful."

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