Elon Musk open to idea of buying Silicon Valley Bank

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The billionaire responded Friday night to a suggestion that “Twitter should buy SVB and become a digital bank,” from Min-Liang Tan, CEO of Razer, which sells gaming computers.

Musk replied, “I’m open to the idea.” 

Others also indicated their support. “I think Twitter could use a financial leg,” Mikael Pawlo, head of branding at Swedish fintech firm Bokio, tweeted Friday. “Would make total sense for the entire Musk ecosystem to buy the ruins of SVB and could also create a viable business model going forward for Twitter.” 

“What an opportunity,” tweeted Kevin Paffrath, CEO of HouseHack, a real-estate and A.I. startup. “2-3 years to get a banking charter otherwise. Just make sure you go through those toxic assets with a fine-tooth comb.” 

Musk, who helped launch PayPal, took over Twitter for $44 billion in late October. He aims to add payments to the platform, which an acquisition of SVB would presumably help with.

“Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” he tweeted earlier that month. China’s WeChat offers an example of such an app, featuring payments in addition to messaging, streaming, and video chats, among much else. 

Twitter has been applying for regulatory licenses and creating software to introduce payments on the platform, the Financial Times reported in late January. 

Fortune reached out to Twitter for comment but did not receive an immediate reply.

Of course, not everyone is thrilled with the idea of Musk having another distraction. Investors in Tesla, notably, have been frustrated with Musk’s focus on Twitter. Musk sold billions worth of Tesla stock to help finance his takeover of Twitter and has been preoccupied with reshaping the platform.

In December, Leo Koguan, one of Tesla’s largest individual shareholders called for a leadership change, tweeting: “Elon abandoned Tesla and Tesla has no working CEO. Tesla needs and deserves to have working full time CEO.” 

On Friday, a self-described Tesla investor with the Twitter handle @sanssoli responded to Paffrath’s “opportunity” comment by writing, “And sell another $20 billion worth of $Tesla stock. No thanks!”

Meanwhile, as Musk ponders becoming a banker, he might also become a landlord. According to the Wall Street Journal, Musk is planning to build his own town along the Colorado River outside of Austin, Texas. Workers at Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company would reportedly be able to live in new homes there at below-market rates.

Some of them, perhaps, might also be customers of Silicon Valley Bank, which has branches nearby. 

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