50. SoFi

Yes, online lending still has a future.

Founders: Ian Brady, Mike Cagney, James Finnigan, Dan Macklin
CEO: Anthony Noto
Launched: 2011
Headquarters: San Francisco
$1.9 billion (PitchBook)
Valuation: $4.4 billion (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
Artificial intelligence, machine learning
Banks, financial institutions

George Kavallines | CNBC

This has been quite a year for SoFi (short for Social Finance). In September the fintech company's co-founder and CEO, Mike Cagney, was forced out amidst sexual harassment allegations and charges that under his leadership the firm was hostile to women. Executive chairman Tom Hutton took over as CEO but in January stepped aside as Anthony Noto, the former COO at Twitter, joined to lead the company as chief executive.


SoFi was started in 2011 and initially focused on refinancing student loans for millennials. Since then, it's expanded its offerings to this demographic by providing personal and mortgage loans, mortgage refinances and wealth management services. Last year it acquired banking start-up Zenbanx, enabling it to offer debit, payments and money transfers. In May, Bloomberg reported that the company is planning to start offering credit cards. If it happens, it could be a lucrative segment.

The company claims to have 500,000 members and has made $25 billion in loans to date. SoFi has raised $2.1 billion in funding, including $500 million in a round led by Silver Lake Partners. In early interviews after taking over the top spot, Noto spoke about eventually taking SoFi public, but did not outline a timetable.

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