Sam Altman, Vinod Khosla say they’ll personally loan cash to startups in the wake of SVB collapse

Common Catalyst, Khosla Ventrues, Kleiner Perkins amongst corporations wanting to provide loans to portfolio corporations

Natasha Mascarenhas

7 hours

Two of tech’s largest entrepreneurs, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and storied enterprise capitalist Vinod Khosla, are providing private capital to startups on the brink of SVB collapse as their cash stays locked up at Silicon Valley Financial institution. The financial institution, which was shut down and brought over by regulators on Friday, is concerned with practically half of all US enterprise capital-backed startups.


Past the undeniable fact that it’s an investor’s job to make investments, there’s one thing to be mentioned about utilizing private capital to assist companies. The state of affairs, quickly unfolding, can be sophisticated by the undeniable fact that it’s the weekend so individuals can’t simply transfer cash or they don’t have liquid cash.

Altman, the former CEO of Y Combinator, confirmed to ClassyBuzz that he’s utilizing a “respectable quantity” of private capital. He believes cash shall be freed up by subsequent week and the loans are extra to assist startups which “want to make payroll now.”

Khosla mentioned on Twitter that he’s providing private loans at borrowing value to corporations in the Khosla Ventures portfolio. Altman and Khosla each took to Twitter to urge different enterprise capitalists to provide emergency cash to workers. “At present is an efficient day to provide emergency cash to your startups that want it for payroll or no matter. no docs, no phrases, simply ship cash,” Altman tweeted, whereas Khosla mentioned that enormous VC corporations ought to step up, “particularly these taking residence thousands and thousands in charges.”

Khosla Ventures CMO Shernaz Daver mentioned over e-mail that the agency’s perspective is that utilizing “LP capital” in this case is “inappropriate,” and that the focus for VC corporations shouldn’t be on earning money. Daver declined to share particulars on how a lot capital Khosla has given due to the undeniable fact that it’s an evolving state of affairs.

It’s a harder choice for individuals who don’t have the skill to make investments private capital in startups. If a enterprise capitalist makes use of cash that they raised from LPs, for instance, the phrases will want to be stronger due to the anticipated upside of that capital. (One enterprise capitalist responded to Altman’s name to motion saying that they’re providing half of their final verify, on a SAFE, with final spherical phrases, utilizing buyers cash).

General Catalyst‘s Hemant Taneja can be serving to portfolio corporations make payroll with what he describes on Twitter as “very low curiosity loans.” Its unclear if GC is utilizing companions’ private capital or cash from the fund. Different funds engaged on providing loans, per Taneja’s tweet, are Khosla Ventures, Greylock, Mayfield, Kleiner Perkins, Upfront, Ribbit Capital, Redpoint, Lightspeed and Altimeter Capital.

Nice to see VC corporations step up to assist portfolio corporations make payroll w/ very low curiosity loans. As well as to us at @generalcatalyst,@khoslaventures, @GreylockVC,@MayfieldFund,@kleinerperkins,@upfrontvc,@RibbitCapital, @Redpoint,@lightspeedvp, @altcap all doing similar. Others?

— Hemant Taneja (@htaneja) March 12, 2023

One investor, whose main fund and administration firm account was at SVB, is ready for Monday to know the way a lot cash they will provide in the first place. The investor, who spoke to ClassyBuzz in background, mentioned that they’re deciding checks on a case by case foundation and that the proper phrases for these offers are nonetheless being found out by legal professionals. They want to be certain that it’s authorized – provided that lending cash might require a necessity for a lending license.

Proper now, they mentioned, the greatest follow is a promissory word or convertible word with a reimbursement function.

Winnie CEO and co-founder Sara Mauskopf mentioned that her enterprise backers are providing “an unbelievable lifeline proper now”

“I’ve been lucky to have nice backers who know the power of my enterprise and have been prepared to assist with this timing difficulty at hand,” she instructed ClassyBuzz. “Everyone seems to be working by way of this proper now however my buyers will not be wanting to earn a living from this in any respect. They’re simply in search of a legally acceptable path ahead.”


Erica Wenger, a former head of platform at Worklife who’s presently constructing her personal enterprise agency, mentioned that GPs ought to lean on their restricted companions, particularly household workplaces, to shut large checks for later-stage particular function automobiles. That mentioned, she says the authorized problems round quite a bit of how these loans and investments are structured is giving her pause.

“If it have been me I’d discover each choice to be certain that my portcos are coated,” she mentioned, noting that rising fund managers wouldn’t have capital to do that themselves. “GPs have relationships with deep pockets. It’s in everybody’s curiosity to see these corporations succeed!”

Different leaders in the tech world are additionally in search of methods to unlock cash for founders in peril. Brex CEO Henrique Dubugras is presently working to elevate over a billion {dollars} in a weekend to assist fund an emergency bridge credit line that he believes will assist startup clients impacted by Silicon Valley Financial institution’s collapse give you the chance to make payroll subsequent week. Dubugras declined to touch upon how a lot capital has been dedicated for the credit score line to date, however mentioned he’s on again to again calls attempting to get funds locked down.

If in case you have a juicy tip or lead about happenings in the wake of SVB’s collapse, you possibly can attain Natasha Mascarenhas on Twitter @nmasc_ or on Sign at +1 925 271 0912. Anonymity requests shall be revered.  

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