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SiteLab Interactive

Creative Agency, Creative Funding

  • Owner:

    Marlene Matheson

  • Location:

    La Jolla, CA

  • Industry:

    Interactive Marketing Agency

  • Year in Business:


Founded in 1993, interactive marketing agency SiteLab offers a suite of online marketing, website development, and motion media services designed to build their customers’ brands.  Notable long term clients include Chiquita and the Haas Avocado Board.

As with many service businesses, SiteLab’s operating expenses include payroll, rent, and general overhead; all of which are constant outlays of capital.  During the economic downturn in the 2000s, SiteLab extended payment terms to some of its largest clients, resulting in long payment cycles.  The challenge that CEO Marlene Matheson was faced with as a result of these flexible terms, was a dip in cash reserves between payments, leaving the company cash strapped at certain times.  Matheson decided it was time to secure business financing but found that despite more than a decade in business, SiteLab had trouble getting money from banks when it needed it most, even though they were back on a growth trajectory.

“My first attempt to find a loan was with the banks, naturally,” she says. “But after sliding backwards a bit in the last recession, it was hard to recover. We weren’t a start-up, but it sure felt that way. It was as if the banks were pushing us down and standing on our heads, rather than helping us get up. I think at that time, the country began a time period during which it just decided to let small businesses go.”

Fortunately, Matheson was introduced to Dealstruck.  The small business lender’s innovative asset based line of credit was just what she needed, right when she needed it.

“It was incredible. I passed a few documents over to them over the weekend and they funded our payroll Monday morning. That’s what sets them apart from the banks, in a nutshell. Have you ever tried to get a loan underwritten by a bank on a weekend and then receive money on the following Monday? Nobody can do that. But Dealstruck did it. I’ve never seen anything like how fast and committed they were to helping me. They’ve stood by me ever since.”

Matheson had wanted to capitalize the business for five years, “but the banks want lots of money to send you some money. Does that make sense? I’ve thought, ‘if I had that money I wouldn’t be calling you.’ Dealstruck was there in a pinch. If I need to, I plan to seek their help again.”