Who Needs Equity Crowdfunding? Dealstruck Builds Crowdlending Market

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innovative lenders like the Capital Access Network, as well as Web-based startups like New York’s On Deck Capital and Atlanta-based Kabbage.

Unlike Lending Club, which specializes in unsecured consumer loans, Dealstruck loans are secured by business assets and personal guarantees from the owners.

Senturia says there also are big differences between Dealstruck and On Deck Capital, which is a direct lender (meaning they lend their own money), whereas Dealstruck is a platform that empowers accredited investors and institutions to allocate their own capital. On Deck Capital also focuses on providing short-term working capital loans that tend to be smaller, higher risk, and more expensive than loans on Dealstruck.

In an e-mail, he writes: “On Deck’s typical loan is $30,000 for [about] 6 months at effective annual interest rates of 20-40 percent. Dealstruck focuses on larger loans, typically over $100,000, for terms between one and five years with rates of 5-15 percent. Our borrowers are typically prime or near-prime and are seeking permanent working capital to help grow without the hassle of the bank or the expense of traditional alternatives.”

The goal is to “create an institutional asset class out of small business debt,” says Senturia, who had dreamed of becoming a Wall Street bond trader while studying for his MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

It seemed as if he was on his way, too, when he joined Lehman Brothers as a debt research analyst after graduating in the spring of 2008. But the job ended when Lehman collapsed just three months later. It was followed by a similar stint that didn’t last much longer at Barclays, the company that took over what was left of Lehman.

In 2010, Senturia joined San Francisco-based Ampush Media as a vice president, running Internet marketing for the Facebook advertising specialist. “The company was founded by colleagues from Wharton with whom I worked on a few small-time entrepreneurial endeavors in college,” Senturia explained in an e-mail. “We had all become slightly disillusioned by our Wall Street careers and decided to take a stab at doing some[thing] entrepreneurial together again… I was the first employee at Ampush Media and I was there from the first day.”

In fact, Senturia says he actually moved back to San Diego, where he had grown up. (His father, the inimitable San Diego serial entrepreneur Neil Senturia, is executive chairman at Dealstruck.) “I’m big into being outdoors and I love being close to family, so I’m fortunate to call San Diego home,” writes the younger Senturia. “Nothing would give me more pleasure than building a successful startup in San Diego and doing my small part to help contribute to San Diego entrepreneurship.”

Ethan Senturia says he was introduced to McLoughlin, who worked previously as a computer scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, through a mutual friend he met as part of the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego. “We both were fresh off our prior startups and looking for … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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