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Kabbage Confirms: Orchard Acquisition Adds to Data Science Capabilities

Update 4/26: Kabbage today confirmed previous reporting that the financial services, technology and data platform for small businesses will acquire “substantially all of the assets” of online lending pioneer Orchard. The company said the acquisition will bring enhanced data capabilities to its platform, as well as spur further development of new products and services.

“At Orchard they accomplished extraordinary feats in the financial services industry, championing a segment of the market unmatched by any other,” Kabbage CEO Rob Frohwein said. “Applying their skillset to a common purpose at Kabbage will more rapidly accelerate our growth and continue our leadership in data-first products for small businesses.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Kabbage has been a strategic customer of Orchard, which provided insight into the company’s expertise in predictive analytics and advanced automation, Frohwein explained. Kabbage will apply Orchard’s technology in a variety of ways, such as enhancing its internal operations and automated underwriting platform, as well as helping “guide future products” and provide data-driven insights to customers about their businesses.

As part of the acquisition, Orchard co-founders Matt Burton (CEO) and David Snitkof (Chief Analytics Officer) will join Kabbage in leadership roles. The company says more than 20 Orchard employees in advanced analytics, data science and engineering will also join the Kabbage team.

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Original post: Bloomberg and other sources are reporting that small business lender Kabbage will acquire lending platform Orchard. The firm, which boasts the support of former Citigroup and Morgan Stanley bosses Vikram Pandit and John Mack, provides information on the marketplace lending industry to Wall Street companies. No terms have been made available and neither Kabbage nor Orchard Platform Markets have commented on the potential acquisition.

Orchard, which launched in 2013, recently attempted to change its business model to serve as a platform for trading loan securities. The failure of this initiative to gain traction, according to Bloomberg, led to the company’s desire to find a buyer of late. The firm had raised $40 million in funding from investors including Spark Capital and Thrive Capital.

Kabbage and Orchard have a history. The two announced a partnership back in the spring of 2015 that gave institutional investment managers on the Orchard platform the ability to access Kabbage’s consumer loan product, Karrot. The partnership also helped Kabbage add to its consumer lending business thanks to new access to Orchard’s constituency of sophisticated investors.

Kabbage made headlines last year when rumors surfaced that the company was raising money for the specific purpose of acquisitions. At the time, marketplace lender OnDeck was widely believed to be the primary target.

Earlier this month, Kabbage announced a partnership with Ingo Money to accelerate loan payments to small and medium-sized businesses. After finishing 2017 with a new chief operating officer and having reached a new milestone in extending more than $4 billion to more than 130,000 small businesses, Kabbage began 2018 by expanding its line of credit to $250,000 in a bid to serve larger business customers as well as its small business base.

“Giving small businesses the peace of mind and security to focus less on their finances and more on their passions is a key tenet at Kabbage,” the company’s COO Bob Sharpe said when the news was announced. “Increasing our lines of credit to $250,000 significantly enhances our ability to solve financial hurdles for larger and more specialized businesses that may otherwise be unachievable, which we see in the market today.”

Founded in 2009, the Atlanta, Georgia-based fintech has raised $1.6 billion in funding. Kabbage demonstrated its Kabbage Card, part of the company’s broader Kabbage Everywhere product expansion, at FinovateSpring 2015. The Kabbage Card gives business cardholders the ability to take their Kabbage credit line with them wherever they go, immediately deducting transactions amounts from available funds and providing the user with a confirmation by SMS text.