Sofi joins the Fintech IPO watchlist:

The Fintech IPO WatchList is now 5:

  1. Lending Club: priced
  2. OnDeck: S-1
  3. Yodlee – public
  4. Virgin Money: public
  5. SoFi – announced intent

SoFi is the latest to announce intent and seems to be bulking up pre IPO with private equity with $566.2 Million total, the most recent of which was an $80 Million Series C on April 3, 2014.

SoFi is going after student debt. They claim:

Members average $11,7832 in savings

There are negative comments on some sites, but it appears that SoFi is going after the top of the credit quality market because they have a life-stage plan. They want borrowers who have become wealthy enough to transition to lenders. That leaves plenty of borrowers who have kept they credit clean but who still don’t meet the underwriting standards.

Sofi’s origins at Stamford makes them susceptible to an elitist label, but they are in business to make money not to solve inequality. The top 15% in America (over $100,000 in annual income) is probably a good target market; they are probably doing well in today’s economy.

Nevertheless I would expect SoFi to work on their reputation on sites like BBB and Credit Karma.

SoFi illustrates a trend in Alernative Finance, the entry of veterans from the financial services business. Nino Fanlo is the former executive vice president and treasurer of Wells Fargo and Ian Brady is the former director of innovation for Fidelity Investments.


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