LONDON May 22 The head of specialist
Californian lender Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) believes
that the growth potential of technology start-ups in London
could boost its British lending portfolio by up to 50 percent a
The British government is counting on entrepreneurial
ventures being dreamed up in "Tech City" - London's version of
U.S. technology hotbed Silicon Valley - to help to fuel the
country's economic recovery.
It has launched a string of policies to help fledgeling
technology businesses to secure the funding and expertise they
need to grow inside Britain, rather than turn to more
established venture capitalists in the United States or
technology giants such as Yahoo!, taking jobs and
potential tax revenue with them.
Greg Becker, the president and chief executive of SVB, which
provides services ranging from cash management to trade finance
and serves companies in sectors from clean technology to life
sciences and premium wine, said that London's technology sector
now offers significant growth opportunities for investors.
SVB opened a London branch in 2012 and has already made
lending commitments worth about $1.5 billion, Becker said,
adding that the bank believes its lending in Britain can grow by
40 to 50 percent a year for several years, based on the market
opportunities it has seen.
"Because of the great universities here, great entrepreneurs
are being formed, great companies are being formed," he said.
Speaking at a London event organised by SVB to give early
and growth-stage firms a two-minute window to present their
business to investors, Becker said that large corporates are now
playing a bigger role in the start-up space, which should ease
access to funding.
(Reporting by Clare Hutchison; Editing by David Goodman)