Kabbage’s Kathryn Petralia on Improving SMB Lending

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In this Q&A with Kathryn Petralia, co-founder of online alternative lending platform Kabbage, she discusses how Kabbage and the web make lending more efficient and convenient.

The influx of technology into the alternative lending industry has drastically changed the way small businesses access financing. As the co-founder of the online alternative lending platform Kabbage, Kathryn Petralia has been helping to lead this change.


Petralia and Rob Frohwein launched Kabbage in 2008 in an effort to speed up the lengthy lending process. Where the undertaking used to take days or weeks to complete, technology is allowing Kabbage borrowers to be approved for loans in a matter of minutes.


Prior to launching Kabbage, Petralia spent close to 15 years working in the credit, payments and e-commerce industries. She served as vice president of strategy for the internet-based credit startup Revolution Money and director of corporate development with CompuCredit Corporation, now known as Atlanticus. She was also co-founder and vice president of strategy for WorthKnowing.com and director of strategy for Visionary Systems.


We recently had the chance to ask Petralia a number of questions on small business lending and how technology has changed the process.


Q: What drew you to the alternative lending space? Why did you think the market would support a lender like Kabbage?


A: I’ve been in alternative lending since the late ’90s. It’s a very interesting area of financial services because it involves unique and interesting data combined with the potential for a great user experience.


With over 20 years working with large and small companies focused on credit, payments and commerce, I immediately saw the value in using technology to re-examine lending when co-founder Rob Frohwein shared his idea that resulted in the creation of Kabbage.


At the time, I could see that the lengthy, manual process that was used for funding decisions could be automated based on access to real-time data generated by numerous business operations.


Read the full interview on Business.com here.

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