Mark Lacter

Mark Lacter is a columnist for Los Angeles Magazine and writes the business blog for LA Observed. He also is the business and economics analyst for public radio station KPCC. 

Recent Articles

Capital Ideas Online

This story appeared in our March 2012 issue. Subscribe here . W hen Robert Frohwein was driving along Silicon Valley’s Sand Hill Road in search of venture capital, he could practically hear the laughter. The year was 2008, when venture firms were hesitant about any new investments, much less the kind of online lending company that Frohwein was pitching. Plus, he was based in Atlanta—hardly known as a center of digital innovation. What he did have going for him was a good idea: advancing money via the Internet to other online businesses in a matter of minutes. “Traditional business lending is fundamentally broken,” says Frohwein, founder of Kabbage.com. “It’s only out there for folks who have sparkling credit histories, and the average businessperson does not have a sparkling credit history.” Despite the generally difficult climate for new ventures, Kabbage.com ultimately managed to raise $26 million from the likes of BlueRun Ventures (an early investor in PayPal) and UPS. The...