SoftBank-backed lender SoFi weighs IPO through SPAC


SoFi CEO Anthony Noto (Getty; iStock)

Online lender Social Finance or SoFi is the one latest SoftBank-backed startup keeping an eye on a public offer from a blank check company.

The San Francisco-based company has held an initial public offering with several special purpose vehicles, reported CNBC. SoFi did not comment.

CEO Anthony Noto, a former Goldman Sachs banker, has previously said that going public is a target. SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son has publicly stated that he expects several of the Vision Fund’s investments to go public over the next year.

SoFi appears to be benefiting from a hot IPO market driven in part by specialty acquisition companies. United Wholesale Mortgage and Finance of America are two lenders go public via SPACs. According to SPAC Research, 208 blank check companies have raised $ 70 billion so far this year.

Rocket Companies, the parent company of Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans, too went public in August. On Wednesday, the stock closed just over $ 21 per share, up from its initial public offering of $ 18.

Insurance startup supported by SoftBank this year lemonade went public, as did Beike Zhaofang, a Chinese real estate platform. iBuyer Open door and View, a smart glass manufacturer, are planning SPAC IPOs. Compass recently hired bankers before a possible IPO next year.

SoFi was founded in 2011 and found a niche after the 2008 financial crisis when many banks withdrew their consumer loans. It has raised $ 3 billion from investors including SoftBank who raised $ 1 billion in 2015.

The company was last valued at $ 4.3 billion after raising $ 500 million from private equity firm Silver Lake in 2017. Last year, it received $ 500 million of the same value from the Qatar Investment Authority.

[CNBC] – EB Solomont

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