On Deck Capital will bring 200 jobs to Denver, paying $63,000 averageDenverPost Feb 26, 2013 Back to press
On Deck Capital has chosen downtown Denver for a regional hub that will employ up to 200 people over the next two years, Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced Tuesday.
Denver beat out Phoenix and Salt Lake City for the regional office. The company said Denver's strengths include a high concentration of finance and technology workers, its success in attracting 25- to 34-year-olds and competitive economic development incentives.
"We were welcomed with open arms," said On Deck chief executive Noah Breslow at a news conference Tuesday.
The New York City financial services firm, which provides small-business loans online, will receive up to $500,000 in grants from the state's strategic fund. Denver has agreed to provide $60,000 in federal workforce-training funds for 12 positions, said Derek Woodbury, a spokesman for the Denver Office of Economic Development.
On Deck, which opened a Denver office at 707 17th St. last month, has already filled 16 positions, Breslow said. The jobs created will pay an average wage of $63,000, and the Denver office will serve customers in the Mountain and Pacific time zones.
On Deck ranked No. 302 on the most recent Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies. The 5-year-old company reported 2011 revenue of $19.5 million and a three-year growth rate of 1,233 percent, and it successfully raised $42 million in venture financing two weeks ago.
On Deck collects data, including payment history, on small businesses and runs that information through proprietary algorithms, allowing it to rate an applicant and underwrite a loan in minutes and hours instead of days and weeks.
Rather than relying on a business owner's personal credit history, On Deck says it can examine the credit worthiness of the underlying business to make its decisions.
"On Deck will be able to infuse capital into small business," Hickenlooper said, recounting the hundreds of hours he lost as a small-business owner trying to negotiate loans.
Normally, technology-driven productivity gains cost jobs, but On Deck, by making the lending process more efficient, represents a case where they can create jobs, he said.
On Deck broke a long streak of major job announcements that have gone to Douglas County, and Hancock called it an important win for Denver.
No only will the company expand employment in the city's financial sector, Hancock said, but its presence will help make capital more easily available to to local small businesses.
On Deck, which currently employs 160, said it has provided more than $400 million to borrowers across the country, including several million dollars in Colorado.
The company said Tuesday it is running a contest on its Facebook page providing grants to Colorado small-business owners who can offer the best explanations of how an extra $10,000 would help their businesses grow.
The first-place and second-place finishers will be awarded $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. The third-place winner will receive a counseling session from On Deck staff.