SoFi, one of the leading student loan refinancing lenders in the US, reportedly discussed a potential acquisition with the San Francisco-based bank and a brokerage firm Charles Schwab.
Supposedly the personal finance company offered to sell for at least $10 billion.
According to Financial Times, the talks took place earlier this year, and Charles Schwab was not the only bank interested in buying SoFi. Furthermore, one international bank supposedly offered $6 billion for the fintech juggernaut.
Earlier this year, in February, SoFi raised $500 million in seed funding from Silver Lake. Back then, the company's value was about $4 billion, making it one of the most valuable fintech startups in the USA.
The acquisition talk follows earlier discussion of a potential public offering by SoFi. According to The Student Loan Report, the student loan company is moving closer towards an initial public offering (IPO), potentially opening up in the coming years.
While SoFi's strategy quickly turned the young company into a market leader, it still has experienced a fair share of negative attention like many other companies.
Earlier this year, SoFi was the subject of talk after a series of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior allegations came to light. Furthermore, several high profile managers left the company in 2017, including the CEO and co-founder Cagney. The leadership crisis was also cited as a reason why the company withdrew its application for a bank license earlier this fall according to the Student Loan Report.
A deal between Charles Schwab and SoFi could have disrupted the online lending market significantly. Given SoFi’s influence in student loans and other financial services, a merger would have given Charles Schwab considerable assets and greater influence in the market.
If SoFi had agreed with the Charles Schwab's proposal, the deal would have been the most significant acquisition of a venture-backed fintech firm since Facebook took over WhatsApp for nearly $19 billion three years ago.