By Guglielmo de Stefano on 17th February 2016
American SME lending platform OnDeck is to be the main sponsor of the inaugural AltFi Australasian Summit 2016 in Sydney on February 29th. The event will provide an overview of key developments the international and Australasian non-bank lending market, as well explore how this disruptive phenomenon is likely to evolve in the foreseeable future.
Last April, OnDeck launched a new online lending platform down under – OnDeck Australia -, via a partnership with MYOB, Australia’s leading accounting software provider, and CommBank, Australia's biggest Bank.
“Australia represents an exciting growth opportunity. Similar to the U.S. market, in Australia we see a huge gap between small business financing needs and the availability of capital from traditional sources. There is significant unmet small business lending demand in Australia, and we believe our online platform is well suited to address the capital needs of Australian small businesses.”
OnDeck argues that its mission is to provide Australian small businesses with the ability to access working capital quickly and easily. They believe that traditional lenders wouldn’t be equipped to meet the working capital financing needs of small businesses – in their view the key issue is necessarily always purely access to capital, more a matter of time and cost.
According to the platform, the majority of small businesses needs very smaller amount of money to manage their growth – i.e. $40k for new equipment, or $25k for additional inventory. Yet business owners are struggling to access these smaller value loans from traditional lenders. Viable businesses also need protection in temporary down times so they can retain inventories and employees. Many Australian SMEs are missing out on the growth opportunities, which could be harnessed by faster access to short-term working credit.
“On Deck Capital, Inc. was launched in 2007 to solve a major issue facing small businesses: financing. The founders saw a chance to think differently about lending to small businesses, evaluating them based on their actual performance, not personal credit. Since then OnDeck has delivered more than US$3 billion in loans to businesses across more than 700 industry sectors.
“We are now bringing the same idea to Australia, to provide small business owners with an alternative source of funding. We describe OnDeck as a company that actually wants to lend to small business. OnDeck loans are designed to help small businesses grow and thrive, unlocking their potential at the time they need it.”
In order to hit its ambitions targets, OnDeck has recruited a 15-strong local service team on the ground as well as adding new hires across its sales, marketing and platform partnerships divisions.
The platform is also keen to highlight the power of its technology. OnDeck’s technology-enabled platform and proprietary OnDeck Score(r) makes it fast and easy for small business owners to get the capital they need, when they need it, with funding approved in one business day.
According to Macquarie, new lending approaches - such as OnDeck's - could tap into huge unmet demand for SME finance worth up to $70 billion (or a 9% increase in system business credit) in Australia, Similarly Morgan Stanley estimates that the total addressable market for new SME lenders is likely to grow to $95 billion by 2020.