Founders: Ian Brady, Mike Cagney, James Finnigan, Dan Macklin
CEO: Anthony Noto
Headquarters: San Francisco
Funding: $1.9 billion (PitchBook)
Valuation: $4.4 billion (Pitchbook)
Key technologies: Artificial intelligence, machine learning
Industry: Banks, financial institutions
SoFi (short for social finance) 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. Now it's expanded yet again, to offer a complete suite of financial products — Sofi Money, Sofi Invest and Sofi Insurance — aimed at the general public.
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The Money vertical is an all-in-one interest-bearing account that combines a debit card and a cash-management account. The Invest vertical offers stocks, ETFs, robo-advising with no fees and unlimited access to financial advisors for novice investors. Advice, a new offering still in beta-testing, uses machine learning to deliver financial insights, spending and budget analysis.
The goal, says the company, is for SoFi to become the central financial hub for members to manage and grow their money. That's why the company has also decided to offer zero-fee exchange-traded funds and cryptocurrency trading this year.
The company claims to have 600,000 members and has made $30 billion in loans to date. SoFi has raised $2.1 billion in funding, including $500 million in a round led by Silver Lake Partners. Earlier this year, CEO Anthony Noto told reporters the company will not being going public in 2019 but that an IPO is still part of his long-term plans.
Noto, the former COO of Twitter, succeeded SoFi's co-founder Mike Cagney, who was forced out as CEO amidst sexual harassment allegations and charges that under his leadership the firm was hostile to women. Noto has been working to repair SoFi's culture and has added nearly a dozen executives since he took over in March 2018. Among them: CFO Michelle Gill.