Mike Cagney, who was ousted last summer from the lending company he founded, is back with a new startup and a whole lot of funding from at least one of his previous investors.
According to a new report in Bloomberg, Cagney, who earlier this year formed a new lending startup called Figure, has raised $50 million to grow the company, which plans to use the blockchain to facilitate loan approvals in minutes instead of days.
According to the company’s site, its lending products will include home equity lines of credit, home improvement loans and home buy-lease back offerings for retirement.
The round was led by DCM Ventures and Ribbit Capital and included participation from Mithril Capital Management, Cagney confirmed to Bloomberg.
Ribbit Capital in Palo Alto, Calif., has been leading investments in the world of fintech and digital currencies from its founding nearly six years ago. Others of its many bets include the online consumer lending company Affirm and Point, a startup that buys equity in U.S. homes.
Mithril, co-founded by Peter Thiel, prides itself on funding companies that take time to build, with funds that have longer investing timelines than do most traditional venture vehicles.
The cross-border firm DCM Ventures, meanwhile, is perhaps the most interesting participant in this round. The reason: Back in 2012, DMC began investing in Social Finance, or SoFi, the company that Cagney founded previously.
It isn’t uncommon for VCs to invest in founders with whom they’ve worked before, of course. And SoFi — which initially focused on refinancing student loans, today provides personal and mortgage loans and wealth management services, and appears to be pushing further into bank-like services — has grown by leaps and bounds since its August 2011 launch.
But Cagney was forced out of the company last summer, not long after a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed by a former employee who claimed he’d witnessed female employees being harassed by managers and was fired after he reported it.
Another former employer who’d worked at the company’s office in Healdsburg, Calif., told The New York Times that her work environment had been akin to a “frat house,” with employees “having sex in their cars and in the parking lot.” That same story, based on conversations with 30 then-current and former employees, also reported that Cagney himself had raised questions with staff because of his own behavior, including bragging about his sexual conquests.
Evidently, DCM and Figure’s other backers were able to brush aside concerns about anything of the sort happening again at Figure. (We’ve reached out to Cagney and Figure’s investors for more information and hope to have more for you soon.)
Employees are also signing up for Figure with the belief, ostensibly, that Cagney is well-positioned to create another financial services juggernaut. According to Bloomberg, Figure has already quietly assembled a team of 56 people. Among its new hires is the former chief risk officer of LendingHome, Cynthia Chen, and the former chief legal counsel of PeerStreet, Sara Priola.