Despite a slumping mortgage sector, shaky equity markets, and growing skepticism among industry analysts, eager venture capital investors pumped nearly half a billion dollars into online lending companies in the first quarter.

GE Capital Corp. was involved in funding deals that totaled $101 million of the $488 million invested in online lenders, according to LendingIntelligence.com. The General Electric subsidiary put money in Ultraprise Corp., CompuBank.com, Global Commerce Systems, and Virtual Bank.

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