Square Capital On Pace to Overtake OnDeck in Small Business Lending

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Square Versus OnDeckOnDeck’s annual loan origination volume has more than doubled since 2014, from $1.2 billion to $2.5 billion, allowing them to retain the top spot in deBanked’s small business funder rankings. But Square Capital, the small business lending division of Square, has grown by 16x since 2014. In the course of 5 years, they’ve gone from being a footnote compared to OnDeck to a fierce rival that is rapidly closing the gap in loan volume.

Square’s secret is the ability to generate loan volume at virtually no cost because the product is merely an add-on to their payments-first business. And that’s a problem for OnDeck, because Square has a lot of money to spend on marketing its payments business. More than $400 million a year to be precise. OnDeck, meanwhile, only spent $44 million last year on sales and marketing.

With OnDeck being outspent by a factor of 10, there is a likelihood that Square will overtake OnDeck in the business loan market within the next two years.

And Square’s strength is the ecosystem it’s building. On the Q4 earnings call, company CEO Jack Dorsey said, “I believe the ecosystem is extremely sticky, because it builds durable relationships. If we’re just focused on providing payments in the Register, certainly, there are so many other competitors out there. But when people come in for payments in the Register and then they use [our] payroll for their restaurant and they use Caviar and are really getting offers from Square Capital, it’s really hard to find that mix anywhere else and that builds durability.”

Last modified: February 28, 2019

Category: Business Lending, Fintech


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