Mr. Shyam Maheshwari is Founder of Nextinfinity Management Pte Ltd,. a Family Office, based in Singapore focused on long term strategic investments to support entrepreneurs in their journey. Prior to this, he served Chief Executive Officer, Founder and Partner of SSG Capital Management (Singapore) Pte. Limited, where he was primarily responsible for SSG’s investment activities in India. He has 22 years of experience in the deal sourcing, analysis and investing industry.
In the recent times, the headlines were crowded with the demise of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). Without going into the history of why this happened, and how could it be avoided, Shyam Maheshwari SSG, talked about the need for such an institution.
Having lived through the demise of his first employer, Lehman Brothers, Shyam Maheshwari could easily empathize with employees, customers, depositors and vendors of SVB. “Getting emails on updates on funding situations of portfolio companies from Venture Funds shows the widespread influence of SVB. It may feel like desperation and exasperation today, but it is also a testimony of the deep impact SVB has on the start-up ecosystem”, he added.
According to the financial expert, the early-stage companies and founders have a hard path ahead of them. Aside from having great ideas, they must conjure resources (funding from angel, or VC) as well as inspire a team to support them in their vision. SVB was an institution that specialized in catering to banking and financial needs of these companies. SVB services spanned from simple steps of opening their bank accounts, to providing overdraft facility, letter of credit, cash management, etc. to more sophisticated products such as term loans, bridge loans, structure equity solutions and advisory.
“This provided the strategic support to start up in their journey to become valuable companies while they make their mark on sands of times. Contrast this with walking into the doors of big established institutions in your countries as founder of a start-up – one can easily imagine the reception one would get and the inflexibility one would face from institutions that have their origins in supporting established businesses”, Mr. Maheshwari said. Lack of understanding sometimes may even breed contempt for the start-ups and off handed remarks of what would not work. The lens of their assessment is clouded, distorting the vision of the founder.
There were things that SVB could have done differently. Yet, Shyam Maheshwari SSG, acknowledges the role it played in the start-up ecosystem. From venture capitalists to founders, from overdrafts to loans, from balance sheet lending to advisory services – it was special – and we shall miss SVB for some time to come, he added. He concluded by expressing his hope that someone is inspired by SVB and is starting another institution to help the start up fulfil their dreams.