SoftBank invests $250m in Kabbage

Kabbage, the US online lender for small businesses, has secured a $250 million investment from Japan’s Softbank.

Kabbage uses data generated through business activity such as accounting data, online sales, shipping and dozens of other sources to provide fully automated funding to small businesses in minutes.

Launched six years ago, the company has worked with more than 100,000 small businesses, providing them with more than $3.5 billion in funding. In addition, it is powering lending for three major banks, ING, Santander and Scotiabank – all of which joined Kabbage’s previous funding round in 2015.

The new money, which brings the total raised to nearly $500 million, will be used to expand the firm’s lending products for small businesses, push the SaaS platform for banks, and to “explore” non-lending products and services.

A move into Asian markets is also on the cards, while acquisitions have been floated, including for rival player OnDeck, which has seen its share price tank since listing in 2014.

Rob Frohwein, CEO, Kabbage, says: “Our partnership with SoftBank accelerates our goal of providing a suite of services to small businesses globally that is centered on real-time and persistent access to a wide variety of data.”

For SoftBank, the investment marks another significant move into the fintech market, coming on top of recent bets on personal lending outfit SoFi and India’s Paytm.