A California bank with deep ties to the US venture capital industry is targeting Denmark for growth, as a lack of regulatory constraints on lending make the country a preferred destination in Scandinavia.
Silicon Valley Bank, a unit of SVB Financial Group, says it’s budgeted a minimum of about $200 million to lend to Danish technology companies. Erin Platts, head of European, Middle East and African operations, says the bank is opening up a representative office in Copenhagen due to an active tech community and a “friendly” legal and regulatory framework. Unlike Sweden, Denmark doesn’t require a license to make loans.
“Denmark has created a much more streamlined environment, so that, coupled with the phenomenal innovation that we’ve seen on the ground, and our existing Danish lending business, has led us to create a presence there before looking at other markets within the Nordic region,” Platts said.
Silicon Valley Bank’s clients include half of all venture capital-backed technology and life-science companies in the US, as well as 67% of companies that went public last year with VC support. Among its clients in Denmark are Trustpilot A/S, an online review platform that earlier this year raised $55 million to expand.
Platts said the bank, which also has offices in Ireland and Germany, will draw on its US network and its UK balance sheet to offer Danish companies a variety of lending tools, including venture debt, acquisition financing and loans tied to initial public offerings.