SoFi to finally file for IPO?

CEO first teased an IPO back in 2014

Social Finance, better known as SoFi, first teased it would file for an initial public offering nearly three years ago. 

But, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal by Peter Rudegeair, this never came into fruition after the online peer-to-peer lender raised $1 billion from Japanese technology giant SoftBank Group and other investors.

And then earlier this year, SoFi locked in $500 million investment led by Silver Lake, “the global leader in technology investing.” The investment brought SoFi’s total equity funding to $1.9 billion.

SoFi said it would use the funds to “accelerate its expansion into new product areas and countries outside of the United States.”

Now, three years after it first mentioned a possible IPO, SoFi CEO Mike Cagney appears to be interested in filing for an IPO again.

The article referenced a letter to investors reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. From the article:

In discussing SoFi’s search for a new finance chief to succeed Nino Fanlo, who left at the end of May, Mr. Cagney wrote that he and his colleagues “believe we can find a world-class candidate who can guide the company to an IPO in the not-so-distant future.” He added: “But I’m still not saying when.”

If SoFi did file for an IPO, it would mark the second major IPO for a housing-related company after a dry spell the last few years.

There’s been a shortage of companies choosing to go public over the last few years due to adverse market conditions. According to an article in Reuters by Lisa Lambert, “Last year IPOs in the United States fell by more than a third from 2015, and many of those 102 share offerings ended up trading below their debut price.”

Online real estate brokerage Redfin helped break this dry spell in July, when it filed for an IPO at the beginning of July and began officially trading at the end of the month.  

And if Redfin is any indication for demand, the market would likely welcome SoFi into the stock market. However, while SoFi and Redfin are both housing-related companies, they do not do the same thing.

Redfin priced its initial public offering at $15 per share. Traders ate up the stock after it began trading at approximately 10 a.m. Eastern on July 28.

In early trading, Redfin’s stock (trading under the symbol “RDFN”) shot up past $20 per share, an increase of more than 35% above its initial trading price.

SoFi is now one of the largest online residential mortgage retailers, only breaking into the mortgage business about three years ago. 

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