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Google Looks to Profit From Alternative Lending

"The resiliency of our economy heavily relies on a healthy financing environment for small business owners who are very focused on building their enterprise, and alternatives for getting financing are limited and very cumbersome. OnDeck aims to make this process fast and as lightweight as possible, allowing entrepreneurs to focus on creating and selling their products and services," Farris said in a follow-up statement to TheStreet.

The Google Venture 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 had previously secured a credit facility from Goldman Sachs (GS) and Fortress Investment Group (FIG) in August 2012.

Google Ventures, formed in 2009, has 160 companies in its portfolio. It says it's mission is to provide "seed, venture and growth stage funding to the most innovative and promising entrepreneurs across a variety of stages."

The fund has sold a number of its portfolio companies, including acquisitions by Facebook (FB), Yahoo! (YHOO), AOL (AOL) and even, Google.

It's also had a few successful IPOs, including HomeAway (AWAY) and Silver Spring Networks (SSNI).

A Google Ventures spokeswoman said that the fund is not a "typical corporate strategic fund," meaning that it invests for financial return as opposed to funneling ideas and companies up to the parent company.

Still it's got to be a strong vote of confidence for both of these companies and for the alternative lending space in general that Google is now behind them.

-- 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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