The Rise & Fall & Rebirth of SoFi — Part One

Lincoln W Daniel
Published in
9 min readOct 21, 2021

Stop and imagine for a second you’re the CEO of a powerful finance company. You feel that you’re on top of the world. For the last six years, your company has been taking off.

You can watch this video here at on YouTube.

You’ve seen nothing but green as investors have hopped on board, as you created product after product for the finance world. The outlook was bright for the future.

Only for you to wake up and realize you’re standing on a precipice with your company awaiting imminent, total collapse. You’re about to be rocked by a scandal that would make front-page news on virtually every newspaper and website in America.

You’re suddenly cloaked with embarrassment. You have no idea if you’re going to resign or try to continue running the company you built from the ground up.

This is the story of Mike Cagney and the finance giant he co-founded and led. This is the story of the rise and fall of SoFi, and you are watching on YouTube.

In part one of this two-part series, we’ll learn about the rise and fall of the fintech startup. After that, you won’t want to miss the unlikely rebirth of SoFi in part two.

It’s time to travel back to the beginning.

The Rise & Fall of SoFi

SoFi, short for “social finance,” is a finance company that started as a crew of four guys with a genius idea and some very big shoes to fill.

In 2011, SoFi was created by Mike and three other University students who thought there had to be a better way to fund their college education.

The group who founded SoFi, Mike Cagney, Dan Macklin, James Finnigan, and Ian Brady, were following in the footsteps of giants. Stanford boasts an impressive resume of companies that were started by students or graduates of the university. Google, Nike, Yahoo, Capital One, HP, and Robinhood, just to name a few.

Although this is great company to be among, SoFi’s team might have embraced the established culture a little too strongly. As you’ll see soon, the team’s college roots didn’t…

Lincoln W Daniel

Chief Bull @ ® Elevating writers @ Author @JavaForHumans Ex: Editor in Chief MarkGrowth (acq.), Engineer @Medium @GoPuff