Figure, a 13-month-old San Francisco-based company that says it uses blockchain technology to deliver home equity loans online in as little as five days, has raised a lot of money in a short period of time: $ 120 million to date , including $ 65 million in new funding from RPM Ventures and partners of DST Global, with participation from DCG, Nimble Ventures, Morgan Creek and previous investors Ribbit Capital and DCM.
The money isn’t all that surprising, given who founded the company – Mike Cagney, who founded SoFi and made it a major player in student loan refinancing in the United States before leaving in the midst of allegations of sexual harassment and a rampant corporate culture that has seen at least two former employees sue the company.
Today, SoFi has evolved under the leadership of CEO Anthony Noto, a former Twitter executive who works to transform SoFi from a loan company into a full-fledged company. financial services company, with savings and checking accounts, as well as exchange-traded funds, all in an effort to make its platform stickier than in the past.
It may be a bigger effort than Noto had realized. Although Cagney once predicted the company would go public in 2018 or 2019, SoFi isn’t even considering a public offering this year, Noto told reporters. earlier this week.
In the meantime, Cagney has moved on as well, though he still seems determined to take on traditional banks. Indeed, while Figure provides home loans today – it says it has provided over 1,500 home equity lines to date – it is also poised to branch out into new areas, including wealth management, unsecured consumer loans and checking accounts offered (for now) in partnership. with an existing bank.
Interestingly, Figure, which employs 100 people, targets a very different demographic than SoFi, like Cagney. told the american banker recently. While SoFi was aimed at young people earning high salaries, Figure is aimed at older clients who may not see much in terms of income, but instead have a large chunk of their wealth tied up in their homes. .
Since older Americans should outnumber children for the first time in history by 2030, according to U.S. census data, Cagney clearly sees the writing on the wall.
Unsurprisingly, he’s not the only one. Other startups trying to make it easier for Americans to borrow against their homes include Point, a startup around four years old that lends capital to people and in return receives partial ownership of their homes. Irene, a two-year-old New York-based company, meanwhile, announces that it will buy homes for the elderly and then leave them live there for life.
Cagney co-founded Figure with his wife, June Ou, who is the company’s COO. She was previously CTO at SoFi.
Regarding her culture and the lingering questions clients and potential partners may have about what happened at SoFi, Cagney – who said she had consensual sex with SoFi subordinates – insists that Figure benefits from the lessons learned.
At SoFi, he told American Banker: “[W]We grew up so fast and we never really understood what we were going to grow into, and culture never took center stage. The figure has a “very clear adherence to a policy without asshole.”