SoFi Technologies, Inc. (now the parent company of Social Finance, Inc. and commonly known as SoFi) is an American online personal finance company and online bank. Based in San Francisco, SoFi provides financial products including student and auto loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit card, investing, and banking through both mobile app and desktop interfaces.
|Industry||Personal finance, Software, Banking|
|Anthony Noto (CEO & Director)|
|Revenue||US$984.87 million (2021)|
|US$-483.93 million (2021)|
|Total assets||US$9.176 billion (2021)|
Number of employees
SoFi was founded in 2011 by Mike Cagney, Dan Macklin, James Finnigan, and Ian Brady, four students who met at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The founders hoped SoFi could provide more affordable options for those taking on debt to fund their education. The company's inaugural loan program was a pilot at Stanford; for this pilot program, 40 alumni invested about $2 million in approximately 100 students, for an average of $20,000 per student.
On October 2, 2013, SoFi announced that it had raised $500 million in debt and equity to fund and refinance student loans. This total funding amount came from $90 million in equity, $151 million in debt, and $200 million in bank participations, with the remaining capital from alumni and community investors. The $151 million in debt includes a $60 million line of credit from Morgan Stanley, and a $41 million line of credit from Bancorp.
As of September 2013, SoFi had funded $200 million in loans to 2500 borrowers at the company's 100 eligible schools.
In November 2013, SoFi announced a deal with Barclays and Morgan Stanley to create a bond backed by peer-to-peer student loans, which would create the first securitization of these loans to receive a credit rating.
In April 2014, SoFi raised $80 million in a Series C round led by Discovery Capital Management with participation from Peter Thiel, Wicklow Capital, and existing investors. Money was raised to expand the footprint of the company's student loan refinancing business and to extend into new products like mortgages and personal loans.
In February 2015, the company announced a $200 million funding round led by Third Point Management. That same month, the company officially began offering personal loans. By March 2015, the company was offering mortgages in more than 20 states, up from its initial launch that included under ten states in October 2014. By April 2015, the company had funded more than $2 billion in loans, including student loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, and MBA loans. To celebrate its $2 billion milestone, SoFi announced a contest, #2BillionTogether, to pay off one of its members student loans. In September 2015, former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt was added as an advisor. The firm also raised a $1 billion round of investment from SoftBank and said it had funded $4 billion in loans.
In May 2016, SoFi became the first startup online lender to receive a triple-A rating from Moody's. In September 2016, SoFi launched SoFi at Work, an employee benefit program to reduce student debt and build financial wellness, and announced it has more than 600 corporate partners. As of October 2016, SoFi has funded more than $12 billion in total loan volume and has 175,000 members. In February 2017, it was announced that Social Finance Inc. raised an additional $500 million from an investor group led by Silver Lake, and also including SoftBank, to help support global expansion.
On September 11, 2017, CEO Mike Cagney announced he would resign by the end of year due to allegations of sexual harassment and skirting risk and compliance controls. Announced January 23, 2018, Anthony Noto resigned from his position as COO of Twitter, to become the CEO of SoFi. In April 2018, SoFi announced that Michelle Gill, who previously worked at TPG and Goldman Sachs, was joining the company as Chief Financial Officer.
In October 2018, SoFi settled FTC charges, agreeing to stop making false claims about savings from student loan refinancing. The FTC alleged that SoFi had been making such false claims since April 2016. In February 2019, the FTC announced its approval of the final consent order under which SoFi is prohibited from misrepresenting to consumers how much money consumers will save or have saved using its products and from making any claims about any such savings unless the claims are backed up with reliable evidence. The order expires on February 22, 2039, or 20 years from the Commission's most recent date of filing a complaint in federal court reporting any misconduct that occurs later.
In May 2019, SoFi closed $500 million in a single funding round led by Qatar Investment Authority. In September 2019, SoFi inked a 20-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL) for the naming rights to SoFi Stadium, in Inglewood, California. The deal, which is worth $30 million annually, is a record for any naming rights for a sports venue.
SoFi merged with a SPAC in order to go public at a $9 billion dollar valuation at the end of the first quarter of 2021. After going public, the overall valuation of SoFi increased by over 12%.
SoFi originally utilized an alumni-funded lending model that connected students and recent graduates with alumni and institutional investors via school-specific student loan funds. Investors received a financial return and borrowers received rates lower than the federal government offered. The company sought to minimize defaults by focusing on low-risk students and graduates.
As SoFi's product offerings expanded to include mortgages, mortgage refinancing, and personal loans, the company moved away from an alumni-funded model to a non-traditional underwriting approach focused on lending to financially responsible individuals.
They also offer cash management (checking) accounts and an investment platform that includes brokerage and robo-advisor services.
Personal loans, student loans, home loans, and loan refinancing are all part of SoFi's lending services. With over $6 billion dollars in loans issued, SoFi has become one of the largest marketplace lenders. They continue to maintain a policy of no fees for their loans, aside from the interest.
In 2018, SoFi introduced commission and fee-free trades of stocks and exchange-traded funds under the name SoFi Invest (formerly SoFi Wealth). This service is now called SoFi Active investing. In 2019, SoFi introduced their own robo advisor service called SoFi Automated Investing, charging no management fees.
In February 2019, SoFi launched a partnership with Coinbase to offer cryptocurrency trading. SoFi offers trading of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more than 17 other crypto assets to users in every U.S state apart from Hawaii, New Jersey, and West Virginia. Cryptocurrency transactions are one of SoFi's only products that have fees.
SoFi offers an online cash management account that acts as a hybrid checking/savings account. They obtain FDIC insurance through their partner banks: MetaBank, Hills Bank and Trust Company, EagleBank, East West Bank, Tristate Bank Capital Bank, and Wells Fargo.
Credit score monitoring and budgeting toolEdit
SoFi Relay, a credit score monitoring and budgeting tool, is available to anyone who registers a free SoFi account. The service allows users to track their money in bank, credit card, investment, and loan balances and transactions as well as set financial goals. No-cost credit score tracking with weekly updates is provided through TransUnion.
- "SoFi Tapping Alumni to Help With Student Loans". The New York Times. 3 April 2012.
- "SoFi's New Take on $1 Trillion Student Loan Market". Forbes. 2 April 2012.
- "Student Loans: For a Great Deal, Borrow from Alumni". Time. 2 April 2012.
- "Social Finance Lands $77M From Baseline, Renren To Help Solve The Student Debt Crisis". TechCrunch. 11 September 2012.
- "Student-Loan Online Start-Up Gets Financing". The Wall Street Journal. 11 September 2012.
- "To get ahead in fintech, you need to be in touch with everybody's go-to guy: Ron Suber - San Francisco Business Times". Archived from the original on 2017-05-20.
- "SoFi raises $500M to fix the broken student loan market". VentureBeat. 2 October 2013.
- "SoFi Gets $60M in Loan Funding from Morgan Stanley". American Banker. 26 March 2013.
- "MBA Lender seeks to securitize student debt". The Financial Times. 26 March 2013.
- "SoFi gets an additional $41M to keep students from falling into debt". 4 June 2013.
- "SoFi Adding Leverage For Their Alumni Investors". Lend Academy. 24 September 2013.
- "Barclays Helps Startup Structure First Rated P2P Bond". Bloomberg. 14 November 2013.
- "SoFi $80m fundraising paves way for growth beyond student loans". The Financial Times. 3 April 2014.
- "Student loan startup SoFi raises $200 million in Series D round". San Francisco Business Journal. 3 February 2015.
- "Alternative Lender SoFi Expands into Personal Loans". American Banker. 17 February 2015.
- "SoFi CEO Sees $4 Billion of Loans as Startup Seeks Mortgages". Bloomberg. 10 March 2015.
- "SoFi's alternative mortgage". CNBC. 7 October 2014.
- "What do rising rates mean for online lenders?". CNBC. 1 April 2015.
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- "A startup out to displace Wall Street banks just hired ex-SEC chairman Arthur Levitt". Business Insider. 9 September 2015.
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- "Chief Executive of Social Finance, an Online Lending Start-Up, to Step Down".
- Rudegeair, Peter (January 20, 2018). "SoFi Offers CEO Spot to Twitter Executive Anthony Noto". The Wall Street Journal. The New York Times, New York City, United States. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
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- "SoFi Names Michelle Gill Chief Financial Officer | SoFi". SoFi. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
- "Online Student Loan Refinance Company SoFi Settles FTC Charges, Agrees to Stop Making False Claims About Loan Refinancing Savings". Federal Trade Commission. 2018-10-29. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
- "FTC Approves Final Order with SoFi". Federal Trade Commission. 2019-02-22. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
- "FTC finalizes settlement with student loan refinancer SoFi over deceptive advertising". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-11-08.
- "Online lender SoFi has quietly raised $500 million in funding, led by Qatar". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
- Farmer, Sam (September 15, 2019). "Rams and Chargers future home now has a name: SoFi Stadium". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
- "Billionaire Kroenke Gets Record Naming Rights Fee From SoFi". Bloomberg.com. 2019-09-15. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
- Kauflin, Jeff. "SoFi Is Buying Payments Company Galileo For $1.2 Billion". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
- Rooney, Kate (2020-04-07). "SoFi to acquire payment software company Galileo for $1.2 billion". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
- Shu, Catherine (2020-04-21). "SoFi goes international with acquisition of Hong Kong-based investment app 8 Securities". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
- Fox, Matthew (January 7, 2021). "SoFi to go public via SPAC backed by billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya". Business Insider. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
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- Bursztynsky, Jessica (1 June 2021). "SoFi stock closes up more than 12% after debut on Nasdaq". CNBC. Retrieved 2021-09-07.
- "SoFi Receives Regulatory Approval to Become a National Bank". SoFi. 2022-01-18. Retrieved 2022-01-18.
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- "Harvard Graduates Targeted by Alumni-Backed Loan Funds". Bloomberg. 11 December 2012.
- "SoFi Surpasses $6 Billion in Funded Loans, Bolsters Leadership Team". SoFi. 2015-12-17. Retrieved 2022-03-27.
- "SoFi Closes On $80 Million To Expand Its Lending Business". Tech Crunch.
- "SoFi Surpasses $6 Billion in Funded Loans, Bolsters Leadership Team". 17 December 2015.
- Lawler, Ryan (16 May 2017). "SoFi gets into wealth management". Tech Crunch.
- "An Introduction to Exchange-Traded Funds", The Exchange-Traded Funds Manual, Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 1–18, 2011-11-29, doi:10.1002/9781118266946.ch1, ISBN 978-1-118-26694-6, retrieved 2021-03-17
- "Form ADV Part 2A - SoFi Wealth LLC" (PDF).
- "SoFi: All-in-one investing that's easy to use". 7 February 2019. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
- "SoFi to launch cryptocurrency trading in partnership with Coinbase". CNBC. February 2019.
- "SoFi Introduces Crypto Trading With SoFi Invest". CISION PR Newswire.
- "Q: Where can I trade crypto with SoFi Invest?". SoFi Crypto FAQ. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
- Sprouse, William (September 26, 2019). "SoFi Launches Crypto-Trading Service". CFO.com.
- Tarpley, Laura Grace (2020-10-13). "SoFi Money is a hybrid checking/savings account, but its checking features are what makes it stand out". Business Insider.
- Amber, Neely (July 2020). "Samsung unveils Apple Card competitor dubbed 'Samsung Money by SoFi'". AppleInsider. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
- Samsung Money by SoFi lands in the US with a physical card and perks Slash Gear. 23 July 2020.
- "Best new credit cards that were released in 2020". CNBC. 22 December 2020.
- "SoFi Announces First Credit Card That Can Help People Pay Down Debt". 28 October 2020.
- "SoFi Relay - Tracks all of your money, all in one place". 13 February 2019.
- Smith, Ryan (April 16, 2019). "SoFi announces partnerships to expand insurance offering". Insurance Business America. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
- "Game-Changing Trends in 2022 for the Future of Insurance". Carrier Management. January 24, 2022. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
- Official website
- Business data for SoFi Technologies, Inc.: