Demand for debt remains strong, interest in non-bank specialty lenders is on the rise, and lender reputation has become increasingly important following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
MENLO PARK, Calif., Jan. 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Runway Growth Capital LLC (“Runway”), a leading provider of growth loans to both venture and non-venture-backed companies seeking an alternative to raising equity, today announced the findings from its third Venture Debt Review. Produced in partnership with Sage Outcomes, the survey gauges the current market perceptions of venture debt financing, and explores how the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (“SVB”) in March 2023 has shaped the views of both capital seekers and capital providers.
Key findings from the survey include the following:
- 88% of Venture Capital (“VC”) respondents reported their portfolio companies plan to pursue venture debt in the next 12-18 months;
- A third (33%) of entrepreneurs stated that in their opinion, venture banks have become less trustworthy since the collapse of SVB;
- 23% of VCs felt that venture banks have become less trustworthy following the collapse of SVB;
- 67% of entrepreneurs stated that they were willing to raise venture debt with a non-bank or specialty finance lender.
Though misperceptions about venture debt persist (as they have historically), the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank seemingly did not affect demand for venture debt or its outlook in the months ahead. Yet, lender reputation has become increasingly important and participants indicated a heightened interest in non-bank specialty lenders.
“Despite facing unprecedented disruptions like the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank – a shockwave that many thought might dampen enthusiasm for our industry – the demand for venture debt remains strong,” said David Spreng, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Runway. “More so, it’s evident that, in the current climate, lender reputation holds significant weight. As non-bank specialty lenders rise in prominence, we are reminded that educating our community about the nuances of venture debt is paramount.”
Venture debt was at the forefront of conversation during the nation’s banking issues last year, which brought to light several misconceptions surrounding the difference between early-stage and late-stage lending.
“Venture debt comes in many forms,” Spreng added. “Early-stage venture debt is very different from late-stage growth lending. Early-stage is much more dependent on the financial backing of the company and its equity partners’ willingness to continue providing funding. Late-stage, however, looks more closely at the company’s fundamentals – including its financials and path to profitability. Success in venture debt also depends closely on the types of businesses using it, the industries they are in, as well as their ability to repay the loan.”
An online survey was conducted in partnership with Sage Outcomes, between April 10th and June 6th, 2023 to understand the current market perceptions of venture debt financing, and how the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March 2023 has shaped the views of both capital seekers and capital providers. The study was conducted among entrepreneurs seed series and beyond (within technology, life sciences, and consumer sectors) and venture providers. Respondents were recruited from PitchBook and Runway Growth Capital’s online network.
118 complete responses were collected from the entrepreneur and venture capitalist audiences. Following the survey, 5 subject matter experts within the Runway Growth Capital network were invited to participate in an online in-depth interview to provide a more qualitative perspective to the findings.
About Runway Growth Capital LLC
Runway Growth Capital LLC is the investment advisor to investment funds, including Runway Growth Finance Corp. (Nasdaq: RWAY), a business development company, and other private funds, which are lenders of growth capital to companies seeking an alternative to raising equity. Led by industry veteran David Spreng, these funds provide senior term loans of $10 million to $100 million to fast-growing companies based in the United States and Canada. For more information on Runway Growth Capital LLC and its platform, please visit our website at www.runwaygrowth.com.
Statements included herein may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements and are not guarantees of future performance, condition, or results and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including those described from time to time in Runway Growth’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Runway Growth undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement made herein. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release.
SOURCE Runway Growth Capital LLC