Retail and consumers

‘An existential threat’: Brands react to Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse

When Silicon Valley Bank collapsed on Friday, it sent a shockwave through a variety of industries, including retail.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced Friday that the startup and tech-focused firm closed and its deposits were taken over by regulators. This came just two days after SVB announced it lost about $2 billion in the sale of U.S. treasuries and mortgage-backed securities — a move that stemmed from mounting declines in deposits. After the company said it planned to sell stock in order to raise around $2.25 billion in capital, its stock price tumbled and worried clients began rushing to withdraw their funds.

SVB works with clients ranging from tech companies to the wine industry to consumer-packaged goods brands. It also has a venture capital arm, making it a well-known name in the startup community.

Within retail, some brands rushed to inform customers and shareholders of whether or not the collapse had a material impact on them.

DTC health and wellness company Hims & Hers said in a Friday press release that it had a “limited cash exposure resulting from the liquidity concerns at SVB.” The company assured that a majority of its cash and investments were with other providers, and it does not have any debts or lines of credit impacted by the collapse.

Meanwhile, CEO Tobi Lütke at e-commerce giant Shopify took to Twitter to say that the company was experiencing a “very minor impact” from the news, noting that a small portion of its U.S. operational fund flows is tied up in SVB. SVB is one of about a dozen banks Spotify works with across the U.S. and Canada, Lütke said.

Lütke shared an email Shopify sent to merchants on Monday that offered to help fund merchants’ payroll needs by working to set up accounts for them. “Building a business is hard. This week has been insanely hard,” Shopify’s COO Kaz Nejatian said in the email.

While the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve and FDIC announced Sunday evening that depositors would have access to their accounts starting Monday, the weekend largely brought up concern from brands who weren’t sure what would happen to their money given the collapse. Confidence in other banks may be declining as well, with Signature Bank also being closed on Sunday and handed over to regulators, per the government’s statement.

Here’s a look at what companies were impacted and how they responded to the news.


After the SVB news broke, venture-backed CPG brand Omsom took to Instagram to inform customers of the impact.

Omsom — which sells cooking starter packs featuring Asian flavors — said in a post on Friday that it had all of its capital in an SVB account. 

“This poses a major existential threat to many small businesses,” the company said, adding a call to action for customers to support the company by stocking up on products and gift cards, as well as sharing the post.

Since Friday, the brand updated the caption of its Instagram post to note that depositors will now have access to its funds starting Monday, but that it “won’t breathe easy until we have access to our funds.”

“Our focus now is how can we prevent this in the future and how can we continue to show up for our amazing community, our ride or dies,” Omsom co-founder and CEO Vanessa Pham told Retail Dive via email. “It’s a common misconception that what happened with SVB only poses a threat to big tech … We’re doing our due diligence with investors and advisors to land on the most prudent plan to store our funds — this will include working with established, reputable banks and diversifying where we’re storing funds.”


For DTC children’s brand Slumberkins, the SVB collapse pushed the brand to offer a special deal for customers.

Over the weekend on Instagram, the book and toy animal brand said that “the majority of our company’s cash was held at Silicon Valley Bank.”

Slumberkins launched a 40% off sale for its entire website to help it “forge through this moment,” and it updated the post’s caption a day later to say it had sold out of most of its books and toys thanks to the support.


With a sense of humor about the serious situation, the children’s brand Camp posted on its social media about the impact SVB had on it.

A company Instagram post over the weekend posted a meme that read “when your bank collapses,” featuring a somewhat sad-looking child.

An Instagram post from Camp on March 10, 2023.

Screenshot: Camp/Instagram


Using the promotional code “bankrun,” customers could get 40% off sitewide. 

“Our bank got shut down by regulators, so we’re asking that you RUN, don’t walk to our BANKRUN sale,” the company said in the post. 

The brand describes itself as a family experience company and has nine retail locations selling shows and merchandise, according to its website.


Business Asia
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