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35. Kabbage

Funding help for small businesses

Founders: Rob Frohwein, Kathryn Petralia
Launched: 2009
Funding: $316.5 million
Valuation: $1 billion
Disrupting: Small-business finance
Rival: American Express


Kabbage founder and CEO Rob Frohwein
Source: Kabbage
Kabbage founder and CEO Rob Frohwein

Among the many hurdles small businesses face in ramping up their companies is access to capital. That's where Kabbage comes in. This Atlanta-based start-up founded during the financial crisis by Rob Frohwein and Kathryn Petralia, friends who had experience with technology and start-ups, developed a financial services data and technology platform to provide fully automated funding to small business in just minutes.

Read MoreFULL LIST: 2016 DISRUPTOR 50

Kabbage's big data know-how lets it make loans — ranging anywhere from $2,000 to $100,000 — to small- and medium-sized businesses more quickly (the company claims in as little as seven minutes) and with less complexity than many traditional lenders. It's able to do this by pulling data from social networks, online sales, accounting information, shipping documents and dozens of other private and public sources to gauge the risk and creditworthiness of the business seeking the loan.

"We founded Kabbage based on the fundamental premise that businesses can use the power of their own data to grow in ways never before thought possible." -Rob Frohwein, co-founder and CEO

The company makes the loans directly and also licenses the Kabbage platform to other financial institutions to provide automated funding to their own customers, the likes of which include Kikka Capital in Australia, ING in Spain, FleetCor and Sage.

Kabbage's direct business has provided $1.6 billion in funding to 60,000 small businesses across a variety of industries on Kabbage.com. By the end of this year, the company predicts it will more than double the size of its direct business and that at least a dozen more financial institutions will be using Kabbage's lending platform.

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