SoFi is paying about USD 100 million in stock for Zenbanx’s technology, which will serve as the framework for a new SoFi bank-account product that will offer services like checking and credit cards.
The startup offers a mobile account in the US and Canada that lets people save, send and spend money in multiple currencies. Zenbanx customers will be transitioned to SoFi bank accounts when the new product is finished later this year, SoFi said.
Closely held SoFi started out in 2011 by refinancing student loans. Since then it has chased a broader audience, expanding into personal loans, mortgages, wealth management and life insurance. A Zenbanx account lets customers hold a single account with up to nine currencies in it. Users can transfer funds domestically or internationally for a flat rate using their mobile phones.
In 2015, the San Francisco-based company issued USD 5 billion in loans. That has grown to over USD 14 billion today.
The acquisition is expected to close in mid-February. Zenbanx has raised USD 10 million in venture financing from a group of investors including China’s Tencent Holdings and Recruit Strategic Partners at a pre-money valuation of USD 129.4 million in 2014. SoFi has raised more than USD 1.4 billion in funding, including a USD 1 billion round led by SoftBank Group Corp in 2015.
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