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

Social Finance image sourced from its Twitter page

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.

Also Read: Online lender SoFi pushes back IPO plans amid fintech sector struggles

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

Bloomberg

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.