Kabbage, an online lender for small businesses, has secured a $250m equity investment from a subsidiary of SoftBank Group.

The latest investment, which is the largest equity raise in the online small business lending space, takes the total funding raised by the US-based online lender to around $500m.

The lender will use the capital to expand its lending products for small businesses, explore non-lending products, and ramp up its SaaS platform that supports banks’ online SMB lending.

The transaction is slated to close in the third quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory nod.

SoftBank managing director David Thevenon said: “We invested in Kabbage because their unique automated lending platform leverages open data networks and best positions them to empower small businesses around the world.”

Kabbage has offered over $3.5bn in funding to small businesses and catered to over 100,000 small businesses since its inception six years back. At present, the startup has operations in North America and Europe and also intends to expand into Asia.

Kabbage co-founder and CEO Rob Frohwein said: “Our partnership with SoftBank accelerates our goal of providing a suite of services to small businesses globally that is centered on real-time and persistent access to a wide variety of data.”