SoFi close to raising $500m led by Silver Lake, Asian investors to join too

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Social Finance Inc. is close to raising about $500 million in a funding round expected to be led by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners to bolster the expansion of its online-lending businesses and personal financial services, according to people familiar with the matter.

The investment round should include several Asian investors, who will join Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., DCM Ventures, Third Point and others. The new international group will purchase SoFi’s loans as well as take an equity stake, said one of the people, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The round could close as early as next week, the person said. Bloomberg reported in September that SoFi was aiming to raise $500 million.

The fundraising round values SoFi at $4.3 billion, higher than its previous valuation of $3.2 billion, one of the people said. The deal isn’t finalized and could still fall through, the people said.

Silver Lake and SoFi declined to comment on the investment. The talks were reported earlier Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.

Closely held SoFi started out in 2011 by refinancing student loans. It’s since chased a much wider vision, expanding into personal loans, mortgages, wealth management and life insurance. Earlier this month, SoFi acquired mobile banking startup Zenbanx for about $100 million. The smaller startup will serve as the framework for a new SoFi bank account product that will offer services like checking and credit cards. Zenbanx will also underpin SoFi’s future remittance product, the person said.

In 2015, San Francisco-based SoFi issued $5 billion in loans. That had grown to more than $15.5 billion by early this year.

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SoftBank leads $1b investment in U.S. fintech startup SoFi

Bloomberg