When OnDeck Capital Inc. launched in 2007, its mission was twofold: to power small business loans across America and to make "capital on demand" a reality. Since that time, OnDeck has deployed over $600 million in funding to businesses in 700 industry sectors, both directly and through a growing network of 1,500 partners, making on-demand capital a resource for scores of Main Street businesses nationwide.
"Our product is a true small-business loan – not a merchant cash advance," said Noah Breslow, Chief Executive Officer at OnDeck. "We report payback to the credit agencies, which helps our small business customers build their business credit." Loans range from $5,000 to $250,000; terms are from three to 18 months.
To expedite the funding process, OnDeck evaluates each business through its platform, which leverages data aggregation and electronic payment technology. According to the company, its proprietary credit models focus on business performance rather than relying on a business owner's personal credit history to determine credit worthiness. And in most cases, it delivers funding within 24 hours.
"Our ultimate objective is to reinvent the entire lending system to provide Main Street the capital they need and a process that is more empowering than other lending offerings, such as banks and cash advance products," Breslow said.
Underscoring how successful OnDeck has been at funding the small business sector, a market typically underserved by banks, the company expanded into larger headquarters in New York City and opened a regional office in Denver. "Having a western regional hub allows us to better reach and serve our surging customer demand in the Mountain and Pacific time zones," said Breslow at the time of the Denver opening.
Another milestone for OnDeck in 2013 was the completion of Series D financing. Totaling $59 million, it was led by Institutional Partners and Google Ventures, which positioned the company to extend funding on a broader scale. OnDeck was also named to Forbes' top 100 List of Most Promising Companies in America.
OnDeck routinely monitors the pulse of business through its Main Street Pulse Report. The latest report indicated 73 percent of business owners felt the economy was improving and wanted to grow their business; 84 percent of small business loans were being used to fund expansion and facility upgrades, inventory and equipment purchases, and working capital. The top three challenges for small businesses cited were access to capital from traditional lenders, growing sales and navigating taxes.
To better serve these pressing needs, OnDeck made several enhancements to its funding program. "We increased our loan size to $250,000, up from $150,000," Breslow said. "We also now issue Fund-by-Wire transfers for instant funding four times daily."
For OnDeck, customer service represents a key differentiator. "We appreciate that small business owners aren't typical nine-to-fivers, which is why we make our application process simple, fast and transparent," Breslow noted. "Business owners can apply anytime on our website, receive a decision in minutes and get funding in as fast as 24 hours."
With the addition of Saturday service, OnDeck now provides sales and operations support six days a week. "We extended customer service support, so we are available Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST," Breslow added.
The company also prides itself on maintaining close ties with its partners through the OnDeck Partner Program. "We're in constant communication with our partner base that had been telling us that manually submitting and tracking applications had become cumbersome and time consuming," Breslow said. In response, OnDeck developed a partner portal where partners can submit, track and monitor applications, and process renewals – all in real-time.
OnDeck has benefited from its meticulous attention to detail: when asked, 93 percent of OnDeck customers said they would recommend the company to a friend.
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