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.