#FinTech / SoFi going public via SPAC backed by Social Capital in $8.65 billion deal

In one of the most eagerly anticipated fintech deals of 2021, online lender SoFi plans to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by billionaire VC investor Chamath Palihapitiya. The deal, announced Thursday, would value San Francisco-based SoFi at $8.65 billion.

Palihapitiya told CNBC that SoFi is an attractive bet based on its mobile-first approach and its low-cost delivery of financial services. He likened SoFi’s disruption in the fintech space to Amazon’s impact on the retail sector…

SoFi started in 2011 with an initial focus on student loan refinancing for millennials. It now offers stock and cryptocurrency trading, personal and mortgage loans, and wealth management services.

SoFi’s CEO is Anthony Noto, former chief operating officer of Twitter and former managing director of Goldman Sachs. He said “deal certainty” was among the reasons SoFi chose to go public through a SPAC, instead of a traditional IPO.