SoftBank Group Corp. is investing $ 500 million in mortgage lender Better, as the Japanese investment giant looks to take advantage of a wave of valuations from startups. The investment values parent Better Holdco Inc. at around $ 6 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. SoftBank 9984, -0.05% is buying shares of the company’s existing investors in a sharp jump from the $ 4 billion it raised money on in November. Better is expected to go public later this year, some of the people said.
Founded in New York in 2014, Better offers home loans to consumers through its website and the banks it partners with, such as Ally Financial Inc.Like other mortgage lenders, Better took advantage of a wave of buying activity and Home refinancing over the past year as interest rates hit record lows, eventually lending $ 25 billion in loans in 2020 and $ 14 billion in the first quarter of 2021 alone, according to one of the people. SoftBank has been in talks with Better about the potential investment since late last year, some of the people said, drawn in part by the startup’s rapid growth. SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son has been telling employees to look for fast-growing companies before the IPO in which the investment giant can quickly deploy capital given its expectation of valuations, according to people familiar with the fund. There is an expectation that the valuation of these companies, which have benefited from factors including a booming IPO market, will continue to rise in the short and medium term, people familiar with the fund added. An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com. Also popular on WSJ.com: P&G worked with China’s technology trade group to circumvent Apple‘s privacy rules. Actor Zachary Horwitz arrested for alleged $ 690 million Hollywood Ponzi scheme.