OnDeck Maintains ‘Hybrid’ Funding Approach

canstockphoto37528527OnDeck Capital Inc. is keeping up with its “hybrid” funding model to withstand the rockiness of marketplace lending, COO James Hobson said.

In its latest earnings report, the lender said that only 15% of its originations were funded through marketplace lending, compared with 35% to 45% in the fourth quarter of 2015. The company aims to keep the ratio in the 15% to 25% range for the rest of the year, Hobson said at the Future of Fintech Conference today.

We have always had a hybrid funding model, with access to securitization market. I think it [marketplace lending] has been volatile last month or two, but what you’ll see is some normalcy starting to return. But the fact is, we’ve been growing through this whole time, and it shows the power of OnDeck score, and the power of having diversity on the funding side. You always want to have diversity, that’s crucial, and not depend on partners or a single source.

The marketplace lending is going through a “shakeout,” he continued, which will get the bulk of the less established players to close shop, while OnDeck still feels comfortable “navigating through.”

The reduced funding through marketplace lending is not a change of strategy, Hobson emphasized, but a “multi-pronged” approach to optimize cost of funds. To keep up with this approach, the company is looking to expand its lineup of institutional partners, which already include JPMorgan Chase and Intuit, among others.

The small business lender originated about $570 million of loans last quarter, up 37% from the same quarter in 2015. Although Hobson said today that OnDeck is now “technically” a unicorn, OnDeck’s market capitalization stands at about $356 million. The stock [ticker: ONDK] has lost 51% of value year to date.

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