SoFi pushing further into mortgages by acquiring tech teams from startup Clara Lending

Bloomberg reports that SoFi wants to hire 100 engineers

It’s been a little more than three years since SoFi expanded into mortgage lending, and while the company has since grown into one of the largest online residential mortgage retailers, it appears that’s not enough for SoFi.

According to a report from Bloomberg, SoFi is planning a larger push into mortgages, going so far as to buy some of the technology expertise of another mortgage lending startup.

From the Bloomberg report:

Social Finance Inc. has acquired the engineering and product teams of mortgage startup Clara Lending, bolstering the financial technology company’s offerings beyond student-loan refinancing, according to people familiar with the matter.

SoFi confirmed the acquisition on Friday and said taking on the Clara teams allows it to “immediately ramp up our technical capabilities.”

According to the Bloomberg article, SoFi plans to bring in approximately 100 engineers as part of its mortgage plan, twenty of which are coming from Clara.

The move comes just after SoFi named Twitter Chief Operating Officer Anthony Noto to be the company’s new CEO.

Noto will take over as CEO and join SoFi’s board of directors on March 1. Noto replaces Mike Cagney, who abruptly resigned as CEO back in September with the company embroiled in controversy surrounding sexual harassment allegations.

Clara was founded in 2010 by Jeff Foster, a former policy advisor at the Department of the Treasury.

Here’s a bit of background on Clara, from a 2016 article from Fortune:

While he was at the Department of Treasury, Foster quickly realized that the experience of getting a mortgage was had a lot of inefficiencies. So two years ago, he left the government to team up with a former engineer at a hedge fund, co-founder Lukasz Strozek, to figure out how to make getting a home loan easier and and more transparent for consumers 

The result of that is Clara, a full-fledged mortgage lender that debuted earlier this year. The company has raised $27 million in funding led by venture capital firms Redpoint Ventures and Venrock. The startup is currently lending in California only, but it plans to soon expand to Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona. It expects to lend nationwide by the end of 2017.

But, according to Clara’s website, the company is currently lending in California only.

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