Social Finance, Inc., commonly referred to as SoFi, is a leading online personal finance company. SoFi was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in San Francisco. It is essentially a one-stop shop for all financial needs, offering an array of loan products and investment options. SoFi is popular for its personal loans, student loan and refinancing, home loans, auto loan refinancing, insurance products and credit cards.
One of the best things about SoFi is that users can track all their financial assets and liabilities via a single dashboard. Owing to its simplified terms and conditions, SoFi has attracted customers in droves. It has more than 1.8 million members, over $70 million in savings, around $50 billion in funded loans and more than $22 billion in debts paid off.
Back then in 2011, the after-effects of Great Recession (2007-2009) were still being felt across the globe. The founders noticed that several students who had taken loans were finding it difficult to pay it back. The primary reason for financial challenges was that jobs were still not readily available.
The founders decided to help students who had taken loans to fund their education. They worked on ideas that could convert high interest student loans into more affordable options. Eventually, they decided to launch their startup as a student loan refinancing business. SoFi became the first company to provide refinance options for private and federal student loans.
Over the years, SoFi has added various services to its portfolio. Mortgages were introduced in 2014, personal loans in 2015, followed by credit cards, cash management platform, a dedicated credit monitoring platform and various insurance products.
SoFi has received investments worth USD 3.7 billion via 18 rounds of funding. Some of the top investors include Baseline Ventures, Discovery Capital Management, Third Point Management, SoftBank, Silver Lake, and Qatar Investment Authority.
Over the years, SoFi has acquired four companies. Zenbanx, a financial technology company, was acquired in 2017. Next was Galileo Financial Technologies, a payment processing company. This acquisition was made in 2020. In the same year, SoFi acquired 8 Securities. The company offered a range of services including social trading platform, mobile-only investing, zero-commission brokerage and robo-advisory service. Most recent acquisition was that of Golden Pacific Bancorp in 2021.
SoFi competes with other lending companies such as LendingClub, LendKey, Earnest, CommonBond, Laurel Road, Prosper Marketplace, Upstart, OnDeck Capital, Acorns and Ally Financial.
About the founders
SoFi was founded by Mike Cagney, Dan Macklin, James Finnigan, and Ian Brady in 2011. All co-founders had studied at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. As of now, none of the co-founders are holding any active positions with the company.
SoFi is currently led by Anthony Noto, who serves as the CEO of the company. Prior to joining SoFi, Anthony had worked with NFL, Goldman Sachs and Twitter.