SoFi, an online marketplace for lenders and borrowers, announced today that it is currently raising an additional $500 million. The round is being led by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners.
The San Francisco-based fintech company initially began offering student loans when it was founded in 2011. It has since expanded to include services like personal loans, mortgages, and life insurance.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth at SoFi because we know what people expect from their financial partner,” said Mike Cagney, SoFi cofounder, chairman, and CEO, in a statement. “They want speed, transparency, and alignment with their interests.”
The company reports considerable growth over the past year, originating $8 billion in loans, up from $5 billion in 2015, and expanding its member base to 225,000 from 100,000 over the same period. The company is currently valued at $4.3 billion.
It’s notable that a mammoth private equity firm like Silver Lake Partners — as opposed to a traditional venture capital firm — is leading the round. It had been speculated that SoFi would be a potential candidate for an initial public offering (IPO) last year, but such an injection of private cash should allow the company to remain private for a considerable period of time.
When we spoke to Cagney in 2013, the chief executive told us he was planning on taking his company public, but that he was in no rush. A spokesperson for SoFi said this latest round does not affect the company’s plan to IPO.
SoftBank and GPI Capital also joined this latest round, bringing SoFi’s total equity funding to date to $1.9 billion. The company will use the new funds to expand outside of the U.S. into countries like Canada and Australia, as well as develop new products.
SoFi currently has 750 employees.