Qatar wealth fund QIA leads $500m investment in online lender SoFi

Photo: Reuters

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, has led an over $500 million equity financing in US-based online lender Social Finance (SoFi).

The round, which was joined by existing SoFi investors and its CEO Anthony Noto, pushes the company’s total funding to $2.3 billion. The lender’s pre-money valuation for this round was $4.3 billion, per a company statement.

“Today’s announcement underlines QIA’s growing focus investing in leading innovators in the TMT sector. QIA has ambitions to build strong partnerships with Technology companies in the US and beyond,” said QIA chief executive Mansoor Al-Mahmoud.

SoFi, which offers personal loans, student loans and exchange-traded funds, had raised $1 billion from SoftBank in 2015, followed by another $500 million from Silver Lake in 2017. Notably, the financing from Silver Lake was at the same $4.3-billion valuation as the latest round.

The digital lender made headlines in 2017 after its CEO Mike Cagney was ousted as several allegations of sexual harassment and a “frat house” culture at the company came to light.

For the Qatar wealth fund, the announcement of its investment in SoFi follows a stake acquisition in Malaysia’s Pavillion Bukit Jalil mall, one of the largest regional shopping malls in the country, from listed property developer Malton Berhad.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.