Tech Companies Making a Big Difference: OnDeck CEO, Noah Breslow
Sullivan Alexander, is a Contributor on the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston), whom you can learn more about at www.contureadvisors.com
Recently Sullivan Alexander interviewed Noah Breslow, CEO of OnDeck.
About the interviewe:
Noah Breslow is the Chief Executive Officer of OnDeck, a technology company solving small business’ biggest challenge: access to capital. Utilizing data aggregation and electronic payment technology, OnDeck can make funding decisions and deliver capital to small businesses within 24 hours. As OnDeck’s first employee, Noah has held a variety of leadership roles since the company’s 2007 inception and became CEO in June of 2012. During his tenure as CEO, OnDeck has experienced 100% growth and has been named to the Inc. 500 | 5000 List of the Fastest Growing Companies in America twice. To date, OnDeck has delivered over half a billion dollars to small businesses nationwide. Previously, Noah was VP of Marketing & Product Management for Tacit Networks, guiding the company from initial launch to its successful sale to a public company. Noah currently resides in New York City with his wife and children, and serves on the advisory board of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA). He holds a bachelor’s degree from MIT and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.
Tell me about your company (services offered, number of employees, location, type of customers you work with, etc.).
Launched in 2007, OnDeck is a technology powered Main Street Lender that has fundamentally changed how small businesses access capital to grow their business. Using big data, our technology platform harnesses readily available digital information to determine the creditworthiness of a small business. We make the borrowing process simple, fast and friction-free.
To date, OnDeck has deployed over $600M in capital to tens of thousands of businesses nationwide, across 700 different industries. Our customers include “Main Street” businesses such as restaurants, retailers, healthcare professionals and other service providers. We currently have over 200 employees nationwide. The company is headquartered in NY with offices regional offices in Denver and Arlington, VA.
OnDeck is backed by some of the nations’ leading VCs – including Google Ventures and Institutional Venture Partners.
Tell us why your product or service is making a big difference for customers.
Small businesses have historically been underserved by traditional lenders. Banks often lack the resources to effectively and efficiently analyze small businesses – in fact, the number of sub-$100,000 commercial loans has consistently declined since 2007 (according to the SBA 2012 Small Business Lending Study). By leveraging readily available digital sources of information, OnDeck can qualify, underwrite and fund small businesses in a fraction of the time that traditional sources can while giving them the customer service they deserve. We are using technology to transform how money flows to small business and make ‘capital on demand’ a reality.
Tell us about the key challenges your business faces during the slow economic recovery.
Introducing the online small business lending concept to the venture capital community was particularly difficult during the time we were coming up. Back in 2007, no one was using data and technology in the way we were and lending still had a negative stigma attached to it. Changing people’s perception that not only could we identify healthy businesses where others could not, but also funding them in a fraction of the time, was a concept that took a while for people to accept.
How did you overcome the challenges, and position the business for growth?
In addition to the alternative finance industry becoming more mainstream over the past few years, we were – and still are – 100% focused on building a disruptive product and a hallmark customer experience. We’re constantly looking for ways to innovate in the small business lending process and listening to our customers to make the borrowing experience even more seamless. And it certainly shows – we are employing more people, funding more businesses and doing our part of helping to trigger economic growth.
What do you see as “hot button” issues in your industry, and what are the implications?
Access to capital is consistently cited small business’ #1 challenge – there is just a huge population of small businesses that are being left outside the parameters of traditional lender’s models. And, small businesses employ nearly 50% of the working population. The implications of increasing the pathway to capital for small businesses are just tremendous for the broader economy. We’re in year 5 of a 20 year transformation that will change the way money flows to small businesses and make “capital on demand’ a reality.
What makes your company different from the competition?
Our customer service is our true differentiator. We appreciate that small business owners aren’t typical 9 to 5ers, which is why we make our application process simple, fast and transparent. Business owners can apply anytime on our website, receive a decision in minutes and get funding in as fast as 24 hours. We also have extended customer service support, so we are available Monday – Friday 8am EST – 8PM EST and Saturdays 8:30am – 5:30pm EST. And it is shows – 93% of our customers would recommend us to a friend.
Also, our product is a true small business loan – not a merchant cash advance. We report payback to the credit agencies, which helps our small business customers build their business credit.
o Twitter: @OnDeckCapital