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Oracle made slightly less money last quarter, and America is to blame (The Register)

For Oracle It Still Boils Down to the Database (Fortune)

WSJ: Wheeler 'Likely' Soon Circulating Charter/TWC Approval
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Trump on Women (Our Principles PAC)

Wilmington-based Swift Capital reports gains, has impressive backers including First Round Capital

Tom Paine

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In a recent announcement, Wilmington-based Swift Capital reported some impressive numbers.

The small business lender said it had 87% year-over-year revenue growth in 2015, while total
Ed Harycki / LinkedIn
funding passed $500 million. Swift says it now has extended working capital credit to over 10,000 unique businesses. Founded in 2007, it is headed by Ed Harycki, founder and CEO, who's prior roles include being chief executive of MBNA's business-lending division. And he's surrounded by what appears to be a talented management team.

What surprised me was Swift's sources of funding. It is an impressive list, including Sutter Hill Ventures, Khosla Ventures, SV Angel and First Round Capital. I could instantly verify the first - a long-standing relationship - but had trouble fact-checking the last three. First Round didn't have it on its website portfolio page, which I've generally found comprehensive except for a few stealthy early stage ventures it wants to keep under wraps for a while. I couldn't find it in SEC filings, CrunchBase, or any other of the usual places. An inquiry to First Round produced crickets. General searches on First Round Capital and Swift produced only results for Swift Navigation, a GPS technology company First Round recently invested in.

I knew Swift to be a very credible company, so I didn't doubt the accuracy of the information, but was just trying to cross-verify or find other sources as I typically do from habit.

But sure enough, a Swift spokesperson confirmed that First Round had invested $2.5 million in Swift Capital in 2015. The amount surprised me; I know of only one larger initial investment it has made in a single company.

Its not the first time First Round had invested in this type of small business lender.

It was an early investor in OnDeck Capital, which went on to a successful IPO in late 2014. But both OnDeck and LendingClub, which went public around the same time, have run into headwinds in the stock market and are way below their highs. I'm not clear yet on how Swift Capital's model differs from those, and hope to have more on that later, although it does emphasize a human connection with its customers and prospects rather than a complete reliance on automation.

These small business lenders have taken off primarily due to the tightened guidelines imposed upon the regulated banks due to the 'great recession', and the use of sophisticated algorithms to evaluate large numbers of credit risks more efficiently. First Round has also invested in two other roughly similar ventures, Better Finance and Fundera, as well as other alternative lending models.

The other thing about Swift Capital is that though it is based in Wilmington, it is locating more and more of its headquarters level personnel in Conshohocken, and continues to recruit for some key positions there. Often that signals a headquarters relocation in the future. Its recent press release was datelined Philadelphia.

In another item, today Swift announced that Richard Vague , the Philadelphia-based serial entrepreneur and investor (Gabriel Investments), has been added to its board.