SoFi is going global.
SoFi is going global.

Image: Shutterstock / Marian Weyo

Student loans make for big business, but the rest of finance is even bigger. 

SoFi, the company that started by refinancing student loans, will raise a whopping $ 500 million, it announced on Friday. The Series F funding round values SoFi at $ 4.3 billion and brings the company’s total equity funding to $ 1.9 billion. Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal both reported SoFi’s huge fundraising plans before the company confirmed the raise. 

With this huge influx of funding, SoFi plans to go global — or “take on new areas of personal finance and new geographies,” the company said. 

Launched in 2011, SoFi started with student loans for “high earners” who have the potential to earn a lot in the future. When it distributes or refinances loans, SoFi looks at career experience and education along with more traditional indicators of financial health. 

Since then, the tech startup has aimed to become a full financial services company. It offers mortgages, personal loans, parent loans, investment services and life insurance. 

“We’ve seen tremendous growth at SoFi because we know what people expect from their financial partner: they want speed, transparency, and alignment with their interests,” SoFi CEO Mike Cagney said in a statement. “We’re the only personal finance company focused not just on people’s money, but their careers and relationships as well. We know this opportunity doesn’t just exist in the United States, and look forward to bringing the SoFi approach to finance to more people around the world.”

SoFi distributed $ 8 billion in loans in 2016, up from $ 5 billion the year before. That money went to 225,000 members. 

SoFi acquired the startup Zenbanx for about $ 100 million earlier this month, which the company said would be used to introduce mobile deposit, credit and payment to its U.S. members. 

Its Series F round of funding will be led by the firm Silver Lake. 

“SoFi’s platform — equal parts technology, community, and exceptional customer experience — is rapidly transforming personal finance,” Silver Lake Managing Partner Mike Bingle said in a statement. 

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