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Lending start-up SoFi closes $500 million funding round, led by Qatar

Lending start-up SoFi closes $500 million funding round, led by Qatar

Online lending start-up Social Finance just closed a half-a-billion-dollar funding round, led by Qatar.

The company, better known as SoFi, plans to use the $500 million cash injection to invest in more growth and strengthen its now $2.3 billion total balance sheet, SoFi said in a press release.

SoFi’s valuation will stay roughly the same as its previous $4.3 billion after a funding round two years ago, led by Silver Lake. Its new backer Qatar Investment Authority is a Doha, Qatar-based private equity and sovereign wealth fund. The firm has about $12 billion in assets under management and has invested in Uber, Flipkart, and HelloFresh among others, according to PitchBook.

Before Wednesday’s round, SoFi had also attracted $1.9 billion from names like SoftBank Capital and Peter Thiel, according to PitchBook. Bloomberg News reported that SoFi was in the process of raising money in April.

The funding round comes amidst a massive uptick in private capital interest in the space. Venture capital investments in personal finance climbed to $4.4 billion in 2018, up from less than $1 billion in 2013, according to PitchBook data.