Entrepreneur Says SVB Collapse Made Them Physically Ill


Technology start-up founders across the Atlantic were scrambling over the weekend in an attempt to rescue companies that were caught up in the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). Two entrepreneurs in particular, Rad AI’s CE Doktor Gurson and Toby Mather, CEO and co-founder of Lingumi, felt the impact of the catastrophe and expressed their distressed feelings. Flora Bradley-Watson has more.

Silicon Valley Bank had been heavily involved in the venture capital and technology space, but its sudden closure had a massive effect on a plethora of companies and entrepreneurs. While founders on both sides of the Atlantic were quick to respond, the distress of those directly involved was palpable.

Rad AI’s CE Doktor Gurson expressed the fear and distress that such a collapse can cause to entrepreneurs and their businesses, saying “I felt physically ill and completely helpless”. His company was one of a number facing the risks associated with such a shocking collapse, and the effects of his distress were amplified by the fact that the majority of Rad AI’s revenue depended on Silicon Valley Bank itself.

Likewise, another entrepreneur, Toby Mather, CEO and co-founder of Lingumi, also expressed his shock and distress, admitting that the company was under immense pressure as a result of the collapse. He was clear in his belief that the situation had already started to stabilise, saying “we now know what’s happening and can start to imagine a future”.

While it is still too early to accurately ascertain the impact this collapse will have, the two entrepreneurs involved are yet another illustration of the risks associated with relying on a single partner – particularly when the entire industry is so fragile. Moreover, it is clear that the effects of the collapse of Silicon Valley bank have been felt literally across the world – and are likely to continue to cause disruption in the technology and venture capital spaces.

Rad AI is a venture-backed company making it easier, faster and safer for cars to drive. Rad AI was established in 2017 and has received over $34 million in funding from prestigious investors such as Greylock, Maniv Mobility, PragsisBidoop, ofo and Tekfen Ventures. Doktor Gurson, the CEO and co-founder, is also the founding partner at Ohad Capital, a venture fund investing in early-stage mobile companies.

Toby Mather is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lingumi, a venture-backed EdTech company that was established in 2017. Lingumi has raised over $9.5M in funding, including a Series A funding round led by Athena and a seed round led by Global Founders Capital and senior investor Marc Hodak. Toby is an experienced entrepreneur and has had a long career in various technology and education-focused roles, including being the CEO of a UK-based EdTech Company.