In spite of telling his clients to get their money out of Silicon Valley Bank last week, billionaire tech mogul Peter Thiel said he had a sizable amount of his own money in Silicon Valley Bank when it was taken into receivership on Friday.
“I had $50 million of my own money stuck in SVB,” he told the Financial Times.
Thiel, who is the co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, has been widely accused of adding momentum to the bank run that ultimately sealed Silicon Valley Bank’s fate. Thiel’s venture firm, Founders Fund, advised all clients to pull their deposits out.
Thiel spoke to Financial Times last week and said during that interview he didn’t believe Silicon Valley would collapse.
Thiel went on to say that his account was frozen on Friday when regulators stepped in and took control of the bank. Thiel did say that he was able to access his account after regulators stepped in and shored up all customer deposits in Silicon Valley Bank.
Other VC firms, including Coatue Management, Union Square Ventures, and Founder Collective, also cautioned startup clients to transfer money from Silicon Valley Bank after the bank revealed a $1.8 billion loss and the bank’s share price collapsed.
These firms denied accusations that they were spreading panic, saying that they were simply acting in the best interests of their clients.
In a statement provided to Axios, Founders Fund CFO Neil Ruthven said that “Thursday morning it was clear we were in the middle of a bank run, and we reacted in line with our fiduciary duties.”
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