“How Can I Be Helpful?” Gets Put to the Test

VC’s ask “How can I be helpful?” so often it’s become a cliche. But as SVB collapsed, some investors did everything to save their companies as others stood pat.

Get the blog before anyone else…subscribe!

From a report out today in Forbes:

Over that frantic weekend, venture capital firms scrambled to respond to the crisis. Some found creative ways to ensure their founders would have access to cash on Monday, at times offering up their partners’ personal funds. More set up contingencies to make loans if necessary, then hoped it would never come to that. Still others chose not to make such an offer, or failed to reach a consensus at all.

Conversations with about 20 investors and founders suggested that non-traditional investors like [Sam] Altman, or smaller, individual-driven firms like Jason Lemkin’s SaaStr Fund, appeared to move the fastest, alongside several bigger firms that got creative in their problem-solving, including First Round and Redpoint. Most established firms, however, didn’t impress.

A few brave investors wired their founders money from their own checking accounts. This could’ve cost them millions, depending on company size.

Fortunately, deposits remained safe, and those investors have likely already been made whole. But in the moment, they had no way of knowing that.

But most investors just wanted to know if they were at risk:

When Alex Lorestani, CEO of startup Geltor, which provides vegan proteins for beauty-product makers, started receiving emails from his investors last Thursday, most of them were one-liners. “They just asked, ‘Hey, are you exposed?’”

When Lorestani informed employees, then his 100-plus investors, however, help came from unexpected places: a fellow founder with some cash to spare, and newer firm Fifty Years, smaller than many with a $90 million fund.

As an individual angel investor, I’m not in a position to bridge a whole company. So, like many smaller investors, I tried to help in a different way.

I did my best to give founders the most reliable info I could find, fast.

I also made sure not to annoy them in a tough time! If they get an email from every single person on their cap table all at once, they won’t be able to do anything else!

Turns out, only one company so far had SVB exposure. They got some of their money out on Friday, and the rest this week.

Like so many startups, they’re headed to Chase.

I couldn’t save companies all by myself. But if I could even provide just a tiny bit of help in that tough time, I was very happy to do so.

When it was all over Sunday night, I bought myself flowers to celebrate.

Founders should make a list of these great investors like Jason Lemkin at SaaStr and Ela Madej at Fifty Years. Give them preference in getting on your cap table.

You won’t regret it.

How did you see investors respond to SVB?

Leave a comment and let me know!

Have a great and more restful weekend, everyone! 🙂

More on tech:

Where Should Startups Put Their Money Now?

Executives Dumped Shares Shortly Before First Republic Rescue

SVB Fallout

Get the blog before anyone else…subscribe!

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:


This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get $100 in free bonus shares!

Misfits Market

I’ve used Misfits for years, and it never disappoints! Every fruit and vegetable is organic, super fresh, and packed with flavor!

I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s