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Raising Venture Debt vs Equity with Shez Samji of Silicon Valley Bank

Raising Venture Debt vs Equity with Shez Samji of Silicon Valley Bank

Funding a new business to fuel growth can be done through some form of debt financing or equity funding. Venture debt is a little different from traditional debt financing and in 2020, VC-backed companies in the US alone received debt financing of more than $25B. On today’s show, we talk about when founders should consider debt financing, the ways in which startups should think about raising debt vs. equity in the early stages, and why it's important to never use short-term debt to fund long-term solutions.

About Shez:
Shez Samji is Managing Director and Head of Business Development at Silicon Valley Bank Canada. Previously, he was VP of Investments at Third Eye Capital, Analyst at AHF Capital Partners and Associate at BMO Capital Partners. He graduated from York University’s Schulich School of Business with a degree in Finance and Accounting.

In this episode we discuss:

02:07 The pros and cons of for startups to consider when looking at different funding options

05:11 Debt financing after a seed/ Series A round

06:53 Why SVB cares about equity

09:17 Bank debt vs venture capital debt

12:12 Avoiding short-term debt as a long-term solution

13:26 Questions startups should ask themselves when considering debt financing

15:08 Next steps for startups looking for financing

16:56 Red flags to look for in loan clauses

21:20 Picking between the options

23:40 How founders should think about “repayment”

25:03 Costs and benefits associated with credit

28:33 Differences between venture financing and more conventional methods of lending

32:43 Benefits of working with a bank focused on startup financing

34:12 What Shez is excited about for the future of the market

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