SoFi (which stands for Social Finance) has raised $77.2 million in series B funding led by Baseline Ventures and joined by DCM and Renren, China’s largest social networking site.
SoFi offers a lending solution that gives students access to lower loan rates than Federal Direct and PLUS loans with similar borrower protections by fostering social and economic connections with alumni investors. SoFi was started by a team of Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) students in the fall of 2011. SoFi’s inaugural loan program was a $2 million pilot at the GSB that fall.
SoFi’s lending program is available in 78 schools ranging from large universities such as Stanford and University of Michigan to smaller colleges such as Smith and Swarthmore. It will expand beyond 78 schools this fall, says the company. SoFi has generated more than $60 million in loan applications and is on a path to commit more than $200 million in student loans in 2012.