Gold Hill raises $215m venture debt fund

Former executives of the venture lending institution Silicon Valley Bank next week will announce the close of first venture debt fund that will serve early-stage and venture-backed tech and life sciences companies.

Gold Hill Venture Lending Partners has raised $215 million (€164 million) for its debut venture debt fund and will announce the close next week.

The firm, based in Santa Clara, California and Boston, will provide financing to early-stage and venture-backed technology and life science companies.

The fund’s limited partners are primarily institutional investors and corporations, including Silicon Valley Bancshares, which both an LP and a co-owner of the general partnership.

Gold Hill was formed in 2002 by four senior lending officers from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB): David Fischer, Sean Lynden, Frank Tower, and Tim Waterson. They have been raising the fund and lending to emerging, VC-backed tech and life science companies since that time, according to a statement.

However, the Gold Hill management company, responsible for handling the day-to-day operations of the firm, is independent from SVB, which, according to the statement, is a “business referral partner” and the firm’s preferred venture lending partner and vice-versa for co-lending deals.

The difference between venture debt provided by the two firms is that Gold Hill has more flexibility, when SVB – as a bank – may be limited due to loan size or risk. A non-bank lender, Gold Hill has more latitude in terms of loan amounts, interest rates and covenants when working with its clients. 

SVB typically provides up to $1.5 million in venture debt per company. Gold Hill will work with SVB to share deals or take on those deals that SVB is not able to take on, and will offer equipment and/or loans valued between $1 million and $5 million.