Who Cares If Chamath Palihapitiya Sold SOFI Stock?

InvestorPlace’s Joel Baglole recently discussed venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya’s sale of 15% of his holdings in SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI) stock.

the Social Finance (SoFi stock) logo is displayed on a smartphone.
Source: rafapress / Shutterstock.com

The news, which put pressure on SOFI stock, should matter little to anyone else investing in SoFi. 

Here’s why. 

SOFI Stock Is One of Many Investments

Anyone who follows special purpose acquisition companies knows that SPACs aren’t necessarily meant to be significant investments – although they can be – for the sponsors of the SPAC. Instead, the sponsors are there to attract other investors and find a suitable business to merge with, so they can put the cash raised to work. 

In the case of SoFi, it merged with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. V, on May 28. SCH Sponsor V LLC, the partnership between Social Capital, Palihapitiya’s venture capital firm, and Hedosophia, Ian Osborne’s investment firm, raised $300 million in October 2020 to put into play. 

When Social Capital Hedosophia announced the merger in January, its presentation stated that Social Capital Hedosophia, the sponsor, would own 2.3% of the merged entity. However, in the PIPE (private investment in public equity) noted on page 49 of its presentation, Social Capital and Hedosophia invested $275 million, good for another 3.2% [$275M/1.225B multiplied by 14.2%].

At the time of the merger, SoFi’s shareholders owned 74.2% of the company. It’s those shareholders that investors ought to be more concerned about.

Some of the Other Selling Stockholders

If you look at the Nov. 15 supplement to its prospectus, you will see that several insiders were selling stock totaling 50 million shares in a secondary offering. Of those 50 million, ChaChaCha SPAC 5 LLC, an entity controlled by Palihapitiya, sold 5.36 million shares in the offering, reducing its stake to 28.68 million, or 3.6% of the company. 

SoftBank Group (OTCMKTS:SFTBY), on the other hand, is selling 22.51 million shares, reducing its stake from 14.6% to 11.8%. However, it is still SoFi’s largest shareholder, owning more than 3x as many shares as Palihapitiya. 

SoftBank first invested in SoFi in the company’s Series E funding in September 2015

“SoftBank seeks to invest in large industries or geographies that are ripe for change,” said Nikesh Arora, president & COO of SoftBank Group in its September 2015 press release. “This investment gives SoftBank exposure to the financial services sector, which is one of the largest and most important industries in the world. SoFi is clearly a game changer in the fintech space.”

So, the fact that SoftBank is selling some of its shares after more than five years of holding them should also be of little concern to investors. SoftBank isn’t in the business of permanent holdings.

What’s Important for Investors

The secondary sale of SOFI stock pushed its shares lower by 12% “of its peak, according to InvestorPlace’s Mark Hake. However, he believes the dip warrants a buying opportunity. 

Hake believes that SOFI stock is worth $25 or possibly more. Currently it trades at $18.

Analysts on Wall Street are still quite positive on SOFI stock. For example, six Wall Street buy-side analysts that have written on the stock in the last 3 months have an average price target of $26.33, according to TipRanks. That represents a potential upside of over 29% for SOFI stock,” Hake wrote on Nov. 20. 

SOFI stock had traded above $20 since the end of October, but well off its 52-week highs. 

In early November, I suggested that several fintechs were going public was an indication that it might be a good time to buy SOFI stock. While November hasn’t worked out as I’d hoped for SoFi, I continue to believe that the fintech disruptor will move higher over the final days of 2021 and the early part of 2022. 

The company reported Q3 2021 results that included a 35.5% increase in revenue over last year. In addition, it hit a membership total of 2.9 million, 96% higher year-over-year, thanks to the introduction of new products such as SoFi Invest. 

SoFi will continue to launch products that meet the needs of its customer base, now almost 3 million strong. 

I continue to like SoFi stock as a long-term financial services hold.  

On the date of publication, Will Ashworth did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 


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