Student loan refinancing company SoFi raised $1 billion in Series E funding led by SoftBank. Previous backers Third Point Ventures, Wellington Management Company, Institutional Venture Partners, RenRen, Baseline Ventures, DCM Ventures all participated. The company will use the funds to accelerate growth. “SoFi continues to redefine consumer expectations in financial services,” said Mike Cagney, SoFi CEO and co-founder. “This funding will dramatically advance expansion of our disruptive products and experiences, and in turn, meaningfully benefit financially responsible individuals. Our trajectory is clear: we are well on our way to becoming the most trusted financial services partner in the U.S.”
Education startup General Assembly has secured $70 million in funding. New investors included Advance Publications and Wellington Capital Management, while existing investors such as IVP, Learn Capital, Maveron, Rethink Education, WTI and others also participated. “We still see ourselves as being at the very start of a long journey. I spend most of my days thinking about how much more we have to do. Our tasks include making many more inroads to increase the accessibility of our programs, and expanding the reach of what our model can do when applied to different sectors of the larger economy,” CEO Jake Schwartz wrote in a blog post.
Digital media company Thrillist has raised $54 million in funding. As part of the funding round, German publishing giant Axel Springer has taken a minority stake in the company, just a day after buying online media startup Business Insider. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE, said: “The investment in Thrillist is a further step we are taking to expand our global footprint as a digital publisher, especially in English-language markets. Thrillist has become a first choice, particularly among millennial men. We see strong further potential and are looking forward to close cooperation with Ben, Adam and the whole Thrillist team.”
Data science platform BigPanda has announced $16 million in Series B financing led by Battery Ventures. Sequoia Capital and Mayfield also participated. “Every company today is a software company, and uptime is mission-critical,” said Assaf Resnick, BigPanda’s CEO. “If you’re a retailer and your point-of-sale (POS) system is down, your business is down. If you’re an airline and your reservation system is down, your business is down. Our goal is to make it easy for businesses to quickly detect and resolve IT issues in order to minimize downtime and maximize customer satisfaction, both of which directly impact the bottom line.”