Social Finance Inc., or SoFi, the San Francisco startup “unicorn” focused on lending to high-earning graduates of elite universities, recently disclosed that it had started a hedge fund to buy the loans it originates. This effort by SoFi should set off alarm bells among online lending cheerleaders in venture capital and stock markets, but also points the way to a long-term future for best-of-breed alternative lenders.

The new hedge fund, called SoFi Credit Opportunities Fund, has “a real chance to solve the balance-sheet problems facing the industry," SoFi Chief Executive Mike Cagney told The Wall Street Journal.

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