No End in Sight for Alternative LendingSeptember 17, 2013 | By: Sean Murray
Which one of these three isn’t like the other two?
- Quicken Loans
- Cleveland Cavaliers
It’s a trick question because as of September 16, 2013, All three are owned by Rockbridge Growth Equity, a Detroit-based private equity firm. RapidAdvance announced the acquisition over the news wire, shocking many people around the industry. The move opens RapidAdvance to the connections and prowess of Dan Gilbert, the 126th richest man in the United States. Gilbert is worth approximately $3.9 Billion, is the founder of Quicken Loans, and he owns 4 sports teams, including the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.
Compare that to On Deck Capital board member Peter Thiel, who is worth $1.9 Billion and is the 309th richest person in the U.S. You may remember Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and first investor in Facebook as participating in a series D round for On Deck Capital along with Google Ventures back in May.
These are truly some historic times. Two of the richest people on all of planet Earth have stock in the merchant cash advance industry. Does that tell you anything about the direction things are moving in? Think about that one again… Two of the richest men in the world have invested in the merchant cash advance industry.
Four years ago, an influential friend advised me that this industry would be eradicated by 2010. As told through The Bubble That Wasn’t, some people left the business prematurely fearing the best days of alternative lending were over. At present, it looks as if those best days are still yet to come.
The Rockbridge Growth Equity move comes less than a year after Steven Mandis bought into RapidAdvance. He will reportedly stay on as a shareholder.
On Deck Capital
In other news, On Deck Capital announced that they’ve raised another $130 million in debt financing, leveraging themselves out even further. ISOs in the industry report that they’re ON FIRE with approvals. Rumors about a possible IPO on the horizon are starting to pick up again but my sources tell me that isn’t likely to happen with On Deck for another 2-3 years.September 17, 2013