Meketa Connectives: Artificial intelligence and private equity

April 2023

Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) high-profile collapse appeared to reveal vulnerabilities in the venture capital eco-system. SVB not only provided customized banking services for start-ups but invested in start-ups as well. Start-ups and tech companies, as well as their owners, kept large cash deposits at the bank. Ultimately confidence in SVB failed and regulators stepped in with a sweeping guarantee on deposits. The Federal Reserve, the US Treasury, and the FDIC took steps to ensure bank liquidity and guarantee all deposits even those above the FDIC threshold, and for a few tense days, the epicenter of venture capital and tech innovation waited for access to their cash. SVB failed and was ultimately sold. The gloom of higher interest rates, higher inflation, lower equity valuations, and the failure of SVB appeared to threaten the Private Equity eco-system of Silicon Valley. According to Pitchbook’s 1Q2023 report, venture funding may be on track to decline 73% from 2022 based on the small number of deals and their valuations.