Mikey Tom December 21, 2016
SoFi CEO Mike Cagney took a bold stance last May, stating his company would likely complete an IPO within the next 12 months. Well, May has long since passed, and now he has changed his tune. The online lender—which was valued at $3.6 billion with a $1 billion fundraise in August 2015—is pushing back plans for its public offering, thanks to a confluence of factors, per a recent interview with Bloomberg.
Cagney states that one of the main drivers behind the delay is a cooling in the once red-hot fintech sector, an argument supported by data from the PitchBook Platform. 2015 saw a record amount of venture capital funneled to startups looking to innovate within the financial industry, but this year's numbers have been less exciting. With only days left in 2016, VC investment in the space this year totals $4.25 billion. And while that figure is rather high when compared with other sectors, it pales in comparison to the $6.1 billion seen last year.
This slowdown can be seen outside of the private markets, as well. Although fintech is a generally new industry, there are a few companies that have taken the plunge into the public markets, offering investors a taste of the up-and-coming space and acting as a tool for fintech startups to use to gauge investor sentiment.
LendingClub (NYSE: LC) is one example, and its performance isn’t inspiring for either side. 2016 has been a notably rough year for the company, as its stock plunged over 50% and its CEO stepped down (read: was fired) amid a scandal around selling loans that didn’t meet purchasers' expressed criteria. For public investors, the oversight may have brought up memories of the financial crash of 2008, possibly making them warier of the fintech industry.
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