Cleaning out some (paper!) files recently, I ran across an Online Banking Report article I wrote in 1997 about Bank of Montreal’s pioneering online mortgage application. It was the first time anyone had put a mortgage app online and one of the first online credit apps of any kind.** Naturally, we were excited about it, naming it the biggest innovation of the year.

Unfortunately, we didn’t track when the first business loan application went online, but it was likely a few years later, let’s call it 2000/2001. So, the capability has existed for 20+ years. But as you can see from the chart below, the digital SMB lenders began in earnest during and immediately after the 2007/2008 financial crash. Ten of the 36 largest were started in the 2007 to 2012 period.


Digital Lenders: Year Founded

Prior to 2008 >>> 6
2008 to 2011 >>> 7
2012 to 2015 >>> 12
2016 to 2019 >>> 6
2020 or later >>> 4


Small Business Lender of the Month*

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NEW: Looking for digital banks, lenders, payment providers, insurance or digital accounting for small businesses? Check out our latest lists: SMB online lenders (33) | SMB challenger banks (12) | SMB insurers (15) | SMB charge cards/expense management (16) | Billpay & invoicing (16)| Payment processors (7) | Subscription processors (7) | SMB digital accounting/bookkeeping (21)

The FAB Score Ranking (Fintech Attention Barometer) is a proxy for the size of a private fintech company.


Digital Small-Business Lenders Ranked by FAB* Score

Rank Was Company FAB Score* Founded HQ Funding ($M) Visits
(Oct ’23)
1 1 Capchase 490 2020 NYC $950 61,000
2 2 Clearco 390 2015 Toronto 859 36,000
3 3 BlueVine 258 2013 SF 768 750,000
4 4 OnDeck 211 2007 NYC 1,200 240,000
5 5 Nav 210 2012 Utah 92 1,000,000
6 6 Pipe 168 2019 Miami 323 41,000
7 7 FundBox 131 2013 SF 554 89,000
8 9 CAN Capital 128 1998 Atlanta 1002 9,300
9 8 Camino Financial 127 2014 LA 170 250,000
10 17 Lighter Capital 120 2010 Seattle 246 38,000
11 10 Lendio 108 2011 Utah 109 480,000
12 11 Arc 99 2021 SF 181 14,000
13 12 Biz2Credit 77 2007 NYC 387 150,000
14 16 Novel Partners 62 2018 Overland Park, KS 115 7,100
15 18 Lendistry 51 2015 Brea, CA 94.8 22,000
16 19 Fundera (NerdWallet) 43 2013 NYC 19 210,000
17 23 Credibly 28 2010 Detroit 82 97,000
18 21 Upright (was Fund that Flip) 23 2014 NYC 53 48,000
19 22 IOU Financial 16 2011 Atlanta 132 7,200
20 20 SmartBiz Loans 14 2009 SF 37 72,000
21 24 BizFI 13 2005 NYC 160 0
22t 25 SMBX 12 2016 SF 15 22,000
22t 26 HoneyComb Credit 12 2017 Pittsburgh 10.5 28,000
24 28 Patch Lending 6 2013 LA 55 0
25t 27 SnapCap (LendingTree) 5 2012 Charelston, SC 0 38,000
25t 28 QuickFI 5 2018
Fairport, NY
9,800
27t NEW SMB Compass 4 2017 Rye, NY 0 9,200
27t 29 Salaryo 4 2017 NYC 12 0
29 29 P2Binvestor 2 2012 Denver 33 0
30 30 Channel Partners 1 2009 Minneapolis 50 0
31 31 Lendr 1 2011 Chicago 25 8,300
32 32 Lendinero 0 2014 Miami 0.03 0
33 33 Rapid Finance 0 2005 Bethesda, MD 0 29,000
34 34 Brightcap (was Forward Line) 0 2003 SF 20 4,200

Source: Compiled by FintechLabs, 22 Mov 2023, from Crunchbase, SimilarWeb, SEMRush data
(“Was” ranking as of 19 July 2023), funding includes debt & equity

*(As nerds do) We have developed a proprietary score measuring the adoption of private digital financial services companies that do not release traditional metrics (# customers, loans, orginations, etc). We are calling it the FAB score, standing for Fintech Attention Barometer. It’s a work in progress, so expect changes in the formula.
**A defunct Canadian bank, Bayshore Trust, launched the first online loan application in March 1996.
***Several lenders pay Fintech Labs a referral fee for funded loans. Those fees may impact placement on our website.
****Not applicable because National Funding is not venture-backed.



Top 30 Alt-Lenders (Digital) Lending to Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMB) in the United States

Rank (by FAB score)

1. Capchase

FAB Score = 490 (up 2 from July 2023)
– HQ: NYC
– Founded: 2020
Traction:
– Raised: $950M (including $945M in 2021 & 2022) (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 61,000 (SimilarWeb, Oct 2023)
– Employees: 152 (Pitchbook), up 5 since July, up 9 since May 2023
– Articles: 58 (Crunchbase)
Social:
Linkedin: 15,000 followers (147 employees, down 4 since July)
– Trustpilot: NA


2. Clearco (formerly Clearbanc; updated 16 June 2022)

FAB Score = 390 (up 76)
– HQ: Toronto
– Founded: 2015
– Raised: $859M (including $169M in Oct 2023, $550M in 2021 & $17M in 2022) (Crunchbase)
Valuation: $2.0 billion (based on April 2021 round)
– Website visits: 36,000 (SimilarWeb, Oct 2023)
– Employees: 315 (Pitchbook), down 185 from July
– Articles: 120 (Crunchbase)
– Linkedin: 43,000 followers (177 employees, down 35 from July)
Trustpilot: 3.6 (310 reviews, up 3)


3. Bluevine
FAB Score = 258 (down 12)
– HQ: San Francisco
– Founded: 2013
Traction:
– Raised: $769M prior to 2021 (Crunchbase)
Valuation: $1B+ (estimate)
– Website visits: 750,000 (SimilarWeb, Oct 2023)
– Employees: 578 (Pitchbook), down 8 since July, up 3 since May 2023
– Articles: 124 (Crunchbase)
– Linkedin: 53,000 followers (582 employees, down 21 since July)
Trustpilot:  4.2 (7,570 reviews, up 310)


4. OnDeck (acquired by Enova Oct 2020)
FAB Score = 211 (up 2)
– HQ: NYC
– Founded: 2007
– Raised: $1.2B prior to 2021 (Crunchbase)
Acquired by Enova in Oct 2020 for $120M
– Website visits: 240,000 (Oct 2023, SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 100 (Pitchbook), unchanged
– Citations: 593 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 27,000 followers (319 employees, down 14 from July)
Trustpilot: 4.6 (4,030 reviews, up 140)


5. Nav
FAB Score = 210 (up 2)
– HQ: Utah
– Founded: 2012
– Raised: $92M prior to 2021 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 1,000,000 (SimilarWeb, Oct 2023)
– Employees: 224 (Pitchbook), up 25 since July
– Articles: NA (too many Net Asset Value citations mixed in)
Linkedin: 5,400 followers (215 employees, up 2)
Trustpilot: 4.2 (270 reviews, up 31)


6. Pipe
FAB Score = 168 (down 10)
– HQ: Miami
– Founded: 2019
– Raised: $323M (including $300M in 2021, $7M in 2022) (Crunchbase)
Valuation: $2B (based on March 2022 round)
– Website visits: 41,000 (SimilarWeb, Oct 2023)
– Employees: 198 (Pitchbook), unchanged
– Articles: 90 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 21,000 followers (295 employees, up 9 since July, 58 since May)
– Trustpilot:  NA


7. Fundbox 
FAB Score = 131 (down 2)
– HQ: SF
– Founded: 2013
– Raised: $554M including $100M in 2021 (Crunchbase)
– Website visitors: 89,000 (Oct 2023, SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 201 (Pitchbook), down 74 from July
– Articles: 117 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 18,000 followers (184 employees, down 23 since July, down 42 since May)
Trustpilot: 4.4 (3,710 reviews, up 40 since July)


8. CAN Capital
FAB Score = 128 (up 1)
– HQ: Atlanta
– Founded: 1998
– Raised: $1.0B prior to 2021 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 9.300 (SimilarWeb, Oct 2023)
– Employees: 395 (Pitchbook), unchanged
– Articles: 92 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 14,000 followers (251 employees, up 2)
Trustpilot: 4.9 (1.050 reviews, up 20)


9. Camino Financial
FAB Score = 127 (unchanged)
– HQ: LA
– Founded: 2014
– Raised: $170M including $150M in 2022 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 250,000 (Oct 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 124 (Pitchbook), down 10 since July
– Articles: 23 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 13,000 followers (121 employees, down 10)
Trustpilot: 4.1 (129 reviews, up 21)


10. Lighter Capital
FAB Score = 120 (up 60)
– HQ: Seattle
– Founded: 2010
– Raised: $246M including  $130M in Aug 2023 & $100M in 2021 (Crunchbase)
– Website visitors: 38,000 (Oct 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 46 (Pitchbook), unchanged
– Articles:  113 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 17,000 followers (45 employees, unchanged)
– Trustpilot:  NA



11. Lendio
FAB Score = 108 (up 4)
– HQ: Salt Lake City, Utah
– Founded: 2011 (originally founded in 2006 as FundingUtah).
– Raised: $109M prior to 2021 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 480,000 (Oct 2023, SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 515 (Pitchbook), up 1 from July, down 63 from May
– Citations: 130 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 18,000 followers (503 employees, down 9 from July)


12. Arc
Fab score = 99 (down 1)
– HQ: San Francisco
– Founded: 2021
– Raised: $181M (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 14,000 (Oct 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 45 (Pitchbook), unchanged
– Articles: 2 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 8,500 followers (110 employees, up 26 since July, up 43 since May)


13. Biz2Credit 
FAB Score = 77 (down 4)
– HQ: NYC
– Founded: 2007
– Raised: $387M prior to 2021 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 150,000 (Oct 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 550 (Pitchbook), down 200 since July
– Citations: 153 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 54,000 followers (660 employees, up 55 since July)
Trustpilot:  4.6 (14,800 reviews, unchanged)


14. Novel Partners
FAB Score = 62 (down 1)
– Founded: 2018
– HQ: Overland Park, KS
– Raised: $115M in 2022 (Crunchbase)
– Website traffic: 7,100 (SimilarWeb, Oct 2023)
– Employees: 34 (Linkedin), up 6 since July
– Article citations: 11 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 2,800 followers (34 employees, up 6 since July)


15. Lendistry
FAB Score = 51 (down 6)
– HQ: Brea, CA
– Founded: 2015
– Raised: $94.8M including $90M in 2022 & $3.3M in 2023 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 22,000 (Oct 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 352 (Linkedin), down 3 since July
– Articles: 32 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 13,000 followers (352 employees, down 3)
BBB: 4.7 (1,300 reviews, unchanged)


16. Fundera (acquired by NerdWallet in Nov 2020) 
FAB Score = 51 (up 4)
– HQ: NYC
– Founded: 2013
– Raised: $18.9M prior to 2021 (Crunchbase)
– Website visitors: 210,000 (Oct 2023, SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 87 (Pitchbook), unchanged
– Articles: 66 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 7,000 followers (56 employees, up 4 from July)
Trustpilot:  4.2 (919 reviews, up 14)


17. Credibly
FAB Score = 28 (up 12)
– HQ: Detroit
– Founded: 2010
– Raised: $82M including $5M in Aug 2023 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 97,000 (Oct 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 167 (Pitchbook), up 4
– Articles: 5 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 10,000 followers (171 employees, up 7 since July)
Trustpilot: 4.8 (1,570 reviews, up 120)


18. Upright (was Fund that Flip)
FAB Score = 23 (up 2)
– HQ: NYC
– Founded: 2014
– Raised: $53M including $20M in 2021 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 48,000 (Oct 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 207 (Pitchbook), up 1 since July, up 7 since May
– Articles: 15 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 5,100 followers (194 employees, down 13 since July, down 4 since May)
Trustpilot: NA (2 reviews)


19. IOU Financial
FAB Score = 16 (down 3)
– HQ: Atlanta
– Founded: 2011
– Raised: $132M (including $200k in 2021) (Crunchbase)
Market cap: $22M (19 July 2023), up $9M since 16 May 2023 (taken private in Sep 2023)
– Website visits: 7,200 (Oct 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 103 (Pitchbook), up 18 since July
– Articles: 17 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 3,400 followers (103 employees, up 5)
Trustpilot: 4.8 (766 reviews, up 40)


20. SmartBiz Loans (formerly BillFloat)
FAB Score = 14 (down 13)
– HQ: SF
– Founded: 2009 (originally as BillFloat)
– Raised: $37M prior to 2014 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 72,000 (Oct 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 226 (Pitchbook), unchanged since March
– Articles: 15 (Crunchbase)
– Linkedin: 6,700 followers (251 employees)
Trustpilot:  4.6 (16,400 reviews, unchanged)


21. BizFI (acquired by World Business Lenders 2017)
FAB Score = 13 (unchanged)
– HQ: NYC
– Founded: 2005
– Raised: $160M prior to 2017 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: INA (June 2023; SEMRush)
– Employees: 31 (Linkedin)
– Citations:  207 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 1,200 followers (31 employees, up 1 since July, up 3 since May)
Trustpilot: 4.6 (440 reviews, unchanged)


22 (tie). SMBX
FAB Score = 12 (unchanged)
– HQ: SF
– Founded: 2016
– Raised: $15.2M including $11.5M in 2021 (Crunchbase)
– Website visitors: 22,000 (Oct 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 35 (Linkedin)
– Articles: 13 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 3,100 followers (35 employees, up 4)
– Trustpilot: NA


22 (tie). Honeycomb Credit
FAB Score = 12 (up 2)
– HQ: Pittsburgh
– Founded: 2017
– Raised: $10.4M including $1.9M in 2021 & $7.3M in 2022 (Crunchbase)
– Website visitors: 28,000 (Oct 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 33 (Pitchbook), down 1 since July
– Articles: 25 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 3,000 followers (35 employees)
Trustpilot: 4.7 (79 reviews, up 7)


24. Patch Lending (formerly Patch of Land; acquired by Cloverhill July 2021)
FAB Score = 6 (unchanged)
– HQ: LA
– Founded: 2013
– Raised: $54.9M prior to 2018 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: INA (404 page, Nov 2023, SEMRush)
– Employees: 46 (Pitchbook), unchanged
– Articles: 36 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 4,200 followers (22 employees, down 3)
Trustpilot: 4.1 (29 reviews, unchanged)


25. SnapCap (division of LendingTree)
FAB Score = 5 (up 1)
– HQ: Charleston, SC
– Founded: 2012
– Raised: INA (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 38,000 (Oct 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 23 (Pitchbook), down 3 since July
– Articles: 2 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 2,700 followers (21 employees, down 2)
Trustpilot: 4.8 (715 reviews, up 26)


28. Salaryo (acquired by Meitav Investment House in 2022)
FAB Score = 4 (unchanged)
– HQ: NYC
– Founded: 2017
– Raised: $12.1M prior to 2021 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: INA (Oct 2023; SEMRush)
– Employees: 11 (Pitchbook), unchanged
– Articles: 20 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 1,400 followers (11 employees, up 1 since July)
– Trustpilot: NA


34. BrightCap (was ForwardLine)
FAB Score = 0 (down 6) 
– HQ: LA
– Founded: 2003
– Raised: $20M prior to 2020 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: INA (Nov 2023; SimilarWeb)
– Employees: 65 (Pitchbook), down 2
– Articles: 2 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 3,300 followers (69 employees, up 4)
Trustpilot: 4.6 (368 reviews, up 107)


Defunct

Kabbage (acquired by American Express)
No longer operated as a separate brand (June 2023)
– HQ: Atlanta
– Founded: 2008
– Raised: $2.5B (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: 3,000 (SimilarWeb, May 2023)
– Employees: 255 (Pitchbook), unchanged
– Articles: 614 (Crunchbase)
– Linkedin: 41,000 followers (172 employees, down 4 since May)
Trustpilot: 2.8 (6,780 reviews through Jan 2023, new info no longer available)

Lendvo (taken off list Feb 2023)
FAB Score = 0 (down 1)
– HQ: Washington DC
– Founded: 2015
– Raised: $1.3M prior to 2016 (Crunchbase)
– Website visitors: INA (Dec 2022; SEMRush)
– Employees: 2 (Pitchbook)
– Articles: 0 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 59 followers (no employees linked)
– Trustpilot: NA

 P2Binvestor (acquired by Aion, no website update since 2020, removed from list Nov 2023)
FAB Score = 2 (unchanged)
– HQ: Denver
– Founded: 2012
– Raised: $33.3M prior to 2019 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: INA (Oct 2023; SEMRush)
– Employees: 11 (Pitchbook), unchanged
– Articles: 25 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 910 followers (2 employees, unchanged)
– Trustpilot: NA

Nuula (acquired by NAV Jan 2023), removed from list Nov 2023)
FAB Score = 66 (unchanged)
– HQ: Toronto
– Founded: 2020
– Raised: $120M in 2021 (Crunchbase)
– Website visits: INA (redirects to NAV)
– Employees: 100 (Pitchbook), up 76 since July
– Articles: 23 (Crunchbase)
Linkedin: 4,900 followers (8 employees, down 3)
– Trustpilot:  NA