|Power Score: 55.24||Momentum Score: 41.00 (3)||HQ: San Francisco, CA||CEO: Anthony Noto|
Valuation: $5.73 billion (+99% YoY)
Amt. Raised: $3.3 billion
Lobbying Spend: $350,000
Industry Orgs: SFA, AFC
Headcount: 2,493 (+21% YoY)
Engineering Headcount: 519 (+21% YoY)
Big Tech Experience: 5.4%
Open Roles: 317
R&D Spending: n/a
Patents Applied For: 0
Patents Owned: 0
Acquisitions: Golden Pacific Bancorp (March 2021), 8 Securities (April 2020), Galileo Financial (April 2020)
Exec Team Exits: No
Diversity Data?: Yes
If you think about the U.S. fintech scene’s race to super app status like a March Madness bracket, SoFi is the odds-on favorite to come out of the “lending” region and go head-to-head with the powerhouses from banking, investing or payment processing backgrounds. But SoFi’s ascent to
Wall Street darling required the steady hand of CEO Anthony Noto to steer the company through the aftermath of its trainwreck 2017, when the company’s frat-like culture came under heavy scrutiny, leading to the ouster of CEO and co-founder Mike Cagney. Noto’s commitment to SoFi’s flywheel model of cross-selling products to members has paid dividends. The company has seen more than 100% year-over-year growth in the total number of home, personal and student loan products for the last five fiscal quarters. The company’s bread-and-butter lending business has continued to prosper, despite the company’s investment in its financial services division: In SoFi’s most recent earnings call, Noto noted that adjusted lending revenue hit a record $215 million, even as the federal government has extended the Cares Act that’s put a pause on student loan repayments.
In January, SoFi’s long-awaited U.S. bank charter was finally approved, despite doubts by critics like former SEC chairman and SoFi adviser Arthur Levitt. While the bank charter will bolster the company’s financial services segment, which some analysts currently see as the weight dragging SoFi’s balance sheet down, the company has continued to innovate in the lending space. During a December 2021 conference, CFO Chris Lapointe noted that he expected the “lending business to grow by about 25% annually over the course of the next five years,” adding that the company’s nascent home loans business would drive much of that growth.
SoFi also acquired banking-infrastructure company Technisys for roughly $1.1 billion in late February, further bolstering the company’s ambitions for its banking division.
In November, SoFi partnered with Pagaya to extend its machine-learning capabilities to broaden the number of customers it could offer its lending products to, and Noto touted those new underwriting capabilities in November. In particular, the partnership has been fruitful for SoFi’s student loans business. As the company invests more into its other lending products, it has a chance to keep its flywheel strategy in motion while expanding its potential user base of members at a lower acquisition cost by cross-selling services, something the company has previously struggled to achieve.
They Said It
“With a national bank charter, not only will we be able to lend at even more competitive interest rates and provide our members with high-yielding interest in checking and savings, it will also enhance our financial products and services to ensure they efficiently meet the needs of our members, business partners, and communities across the country, while continuing to uphold a high bar of regulatory standards and compliance.” –Noto in a January 2022 statement
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