SoFi acquires Hong Kong stock trading app 8 Securities
SoFi, the fintech which acquired Galileo for $1.2 billion earlier this month, has just added another acquisition to its bow, but this time it’s a company in Hong Kong rather than in its familiar stomping ground, the US.
The international move will see SoFi buy up Hong Kong and Tokyo-based consumer stock trading app 8 Securities.
Yet to disclose the value of the deal, SoFi Hong Kong says it will become the only brokerage service to deliver free stock trading of more than 15,000 US and Hong Kong stocks, as well as exchange-traded funds.
“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,” SoFi’s CEO Anthony Noto says in a statement.
“Based on the platform we’ve built, SoFi, together with 8 Securities, can meet the needs of both experienced and novice investors alike, as part of our overall efforts to make headway on our mission outside of the US to help people get their money right.”
8 Securities, which was founded in 2012, will rebrand to SoFi and keep its team. Up until its acquisition, the fintech offered customers mobile-only investing, a robo-advisory service, a social trading platform, and a zero-commission brokerage.
In the last eight years, it has raised $70 million in funding and reached consumers across Hong Kong, mainland China, and Singapore.
With the addition of 8 Securities, SoFi Hong Kong will be able to add new social trading features, such as membership points, and collections which organise stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by subjects e.g. gaming, Chinese ecommerce or “clean tech”.
Despite the rippling economic impact of coronavirus, 8 Securities’ co-founder – and CEO of SoFi Hong Kong – Mikaal Abdulla told TechCrunch that its first quarter of 2020 saw new accounts and assets up 400% in March, compared to 2019’s average.
“We experienced a surge in first-time investors that see the current market pull-back as an opportunity to start investing,” said Abdulla.
“Despite the market decline our active accounts and assets are higher than they have ever been.”
SoFi’s acquisition of Galileo earlier this month was part of a different play for the Californian fintech. Whilst 8 Securities adds to its internal consumer services, Galileo marks SoFi’s route into the business-to-business space.
Its consumer-led financial suite already includes personal and student finance loans, investment and insurance products, as well as cash and wealth management tools.