Online lender SoFi is nearing a deal to raise $500M in fresh funds from an investor group led by private-equity firm Silver Lake. The new equity investment, would value SoFi at more than $4 billion.
In recent months, SoFi also announced expansions beyond lending and into life insurance through a partnership with Protective Life Insurance Co and digital-banking with a nearly $100 million acquisition of Zenbanx Holding Ltd. The company is looking to offer those new products to its roughly 225,000 borrowers that it refers to as HENRYs, or “high earners not rich yet.” The fundraising by SoFi, led by CEO Mike Cagney, is the latest indication that lending startups are becoming more appealing to venture-capital firms this year after investment in the sector fell 75% in 2016. Since the start of 2017, online small-business lender Funding Circle Ltd raised $100 million from an investor group led by Accel, and online mortgage lender Better Mortgage Inc. raised $15 million from an investor group led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.