Kabbage Co-Founder & Head Fintecher Kathryn Petralia: Power Lending, Predictions & Progress

April 12, 2017

Co-Founder and Head of Operations Kathryn Petralia has worked for over twenty years with large and small companies focused on credit, payments, and commerce. The Furman University English major “immediately saw the value in using technology to reexamine lending” when future Kabbage CEO Rob Frohwein and Co-founder shared his idea for what became Kabbage. She believed funding decisions could be automated based on access to real-time data generated by numerous business operations rather than a lengthy, manual process.

Since launching in November 2008, team Kabbage has grown its global advanced lending infrastructure to enable small businesses to borrow necessary funds through its direct SMB lending product which has been adopted by banks and non-banks worldwide. The FinTech innovator has provided over $3B since its founding and has raised $236M in equity since its formation as well as more than $1 billion of debt.

Before Kabbage, Petralia served as Vice President of Strategy for Revolution Money, an Internet-based credit card startup, and was a corporate development executive with CompuCredit Corporation, where she was responsible for entering new markets, developing products and establishing strategic alliances.

I recently caught up with Petralia via email to learn more about Kabbage’s growth, her views on Fintech’s future and regulations, updates on the Consumer Financial Data Rights (CFDR) and Innovative Lending Platform Association (ILPA) and advice for female Fintech innovators.  Our interview follows:

Erin: Please share current Kabbage stats, including highlights from 2016. 

Kathryn Petralia: Since we began providing funding in 2011, we’ve extended nearly $3 billion to 100,000 small businesses across the U.S. To date, our customers have connected more than 1.4 million data sources to the Kabbage Platform to receive an automated decision and rapid access to capital.

In 2016, we partnered with leading global banks Santander and Scotiabank to implement the Kabbage Platform and power lending in the U.K., Canada and Mexico. We also launched the industry’s first fully mobile lending experience with new mobile apps for iOS and Android. In fall 2016, we unveiled the SMART Box (Straightforward Metrics Around Rate and Total cost box) with our fellow members of the Innovative Lending Platform Association (ILPA). The SMART Box is a standardized comparison tool that helps small businesses better understand their funding options.

We also received a number of awards in 2016, including being named to the CNBC Disruptor 50 list, the Forbes Fintech 50 and the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies, and we were named one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in the U.S.

Read the full interview on Crowdfund Insider here.