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5 Things To Know About Small Business This Week: May 3





5. Google sees opportunity in alternative lending, makes two investments. Google (GOOG) took a minority stake in peer-to-peer lender, Lending Club. Google invested $125 million as part of a secondary transaction whereby new and existing investors acquired shares from existing investors, Lending Club announced this week.

"Lending Club is using the Internet to reshape the financial system and profoundly transform the way people think of credit and investment," Google's vice president for corporate development David Lawee.

Lending Club has issued more than $1.65 billion in loans since 2007, including over $350 million in the last quarter through so-called peer-to-peer lending, which facilitates personal loans to borrowers from qualified investors. Small businesses have been increasingly using alternative forms of lending, such as peer-to-peer lending, when more traditional financing has remained difficult to obtain.

Separately Google Ventures led the investment in alternative small-business lending platform On Deck Capital, as part of its $17 million expanded Series D investment round on Wednesday. PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel as well as VC-firm Industry Ventures also participated.

The investment brings On Deck's Series D financing to a total of $59 million. The company announced in February that it had raised $42 million in a round led by Institutional Venture Partners.

"On Deck has found an efficient way to connect millions of small businesses around the country with the working capital they need to grow their companies," said Karim Faris, general partner at Google Ventures. "We invested in On Deck because we believe in the team's game-changing vision, strong talent and disruptive technology."

Google Ventures likes to invest in winners, could an IPO for On Deck be around the corner?

5. Seems like the financing spigots are opening in payments. Payments startup Dwolla raised $16.5 million from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, according to All Things D. Partner Scott Weiss will join Dwolla's board.

Dwolla's former investors including USV, Thrive and Village Ventures also participated in the round, All Things D said.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

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