If major global chains and brands were hit hard by the recession, small businesses were hit even harder. Getting a loan has been more difficult than ever, which has inspired the up-cropping of specialized platforms like ProFounder and Kiva’s U.S. division, both of which are devoted exclusively to serving small business owners—or aspiring business owners. On Deck is one such service, aiming to help small business owners get a better understanding of their health to apply for the right loans. The company announced Thursday that it has raised $15 million in a Series C round led by SAP Ventures.
The service—like a Mint for small businesses—is refreshingly simple and straight-forward: business owners or prospective owners enter their personal information on the site and the company does a quick examination to determine the applicant’s credit health. Business owners can enter their business information to get a comprehensive breakdown of everything from business credit and cash-flow to revenues, debt, and expenses, as well as highlights of the businesses strong points so that when the owner applies for a loan, he or she can easily point to the business’s strengths.
The service is free and users can also apply for a loan directly from On Deck. To date, the company has issued $100 million in loans to small business owners across 450,000 transactions.
"We started On Deck knowing that technology and electronic data would be the key ingredients to connecting Main Street to capital," said founder and CEO Mitch Jacobs in a prepared statement. "Four years later our system has been completely validated by the $100 million dollars delivered to small businesses. We're excited to have SAP Ventures, a firm that brings a wealth of business software experience to the table, as a financial investor."
Founded in 2006, the company is made up of entrepreneurs and industry veterans from GE Capital, First Data, JP Morgan, Citibank, and American Express. In 2010, CEO Mitch Jacobs received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his work in helping small business owners get access to loans. Before starting On Deck, Jacobs was the founder and CEO of credit card processing company Tranvia. He also headed Transaction Service Providers, a small business solution that provided stored value services to merchants at U.S. universities.
The company saw a three-fold increase in revenues in 2010 and says it will use the new capital to further expand its nationwide platform. The company also announced that SAP Ventures Managing Director David Hartwig is joining the board of directors.