[HONG KONG] Social Finance Inc has acquired 8 Securities, a Hong Kong mobile investing startup, marking its first expansion outside of the US.
Rebranded as SoFi Hong Kong, the company will be the only brokerage service that delivers fee-free stock trading on more than 15,000 US and Hong Kong stocks, as well as exchange traded funds, it said in an emailed statement.
The acquisition follows SoFi's US$1.2 billion (S$1.72 billion) buyout of Galileo Financial Technologies, a startup that creates applications for card issuers and payments platforms just this month. Following a shake up at the company and a slew of executive departures, former Twitter executive Anthony Noto took over as chief executive officer and has been expanding the business.
San Francisco-based SoFi was founded in 2011 as a student lending service. It has since branched into personal loans, mortgages, investing, checking and savings products, as well as free stock trading. SoFi raised more than US$500 million in May last year, giving it a valuation of US$4.3 billion.
"We underwent an extensive process in considering our initial expansion into an international market, and it quickly became clear that Hong Kong, a financial capital of Asia, is ripe for innovation," said Mr Noto.
Users on the SoFi Hong Kong platform can track top-performing members and see how their performance ranks against their peers.
The company didn't provide a price for the transaction in the statement.