Lending Club’s strategy for courting small businesses looking for a loan is becoming clear. And it involves a heavy dose of partnerships.
Two weeks after the online lending platform announced a deal with Google to allow Google partners to secure loans on Lending Club, the company is unveiling a relationship with Alibaba that could appeal to American small businesses.
The deal allows American small business owners to secure a line of credit of up to $300,000 to use toward the purchase of wholesale goods or equipment on Alibaba.com. The loans carry fixed monthly interest rates of between 0.5 percent and 2.4 percent according to the website. The business owners can receive a quote in a few minutes after signing up on Alibaba.com. Alibaba previously offered these lines of credit through a Chinese bank, but the minimum interest rate available was higher and the approval times were longer, Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche told Re/code.
For Alibaba, the partnership has the potential to make it easier for American businesses to make big purchases on Alibaba.com. At the same time, the deal gives Lending Club access to a large, new pool of small businesses looking for commercial loans. While Laplanche said Lending Club’s bread and butter will continue to be consumer loans, the company is smart to attempt to grab a slice of the small business lending market as it heats up with untraditional lenders entering the market from various sides. Besides Alibaba, other online marketplaces like both eBay and Amazon have ramped up lending to small businesses in recent years.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.