BEIJING, Sept. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Renren Inc. (NYSE: RENN), a leading real name social networking internet platform in China, today announced that it invested $49 million in Social Finance Inc. ("SoFi"), a San Francisco-based private company. SoFi offers an innovative lending solution that provides students access to lower loan rates than Federal Direct and PLUS loans with similar borrow protections. SoFi was started by a team of Stanford Graduate School of Business students in 2011. By fostering social and economic connections with alumni investors, SoFi has moved towards becoming a national lender through state registration, created a broker dealer, expanded its product offering to include both in-school and consolidation loans, and expanded its presence to over 70 schools nationwide in the U.S. "The investment in SoFi represents our continued efforts in leveraging our social and demographics expertise. As a pioneering company building social infrastructure over the internet, we have closely observed and participated in the transformation of other online vertical businesses that leverage social to productize, market, distribute and scale," said Joseph Chen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renren. "With gaming and e-commerce socialized, as exemplified by social gaming and social commerce, we expect the next wave will be finance and education; SoFi lies at the nexus of that revolution. As the largest real-name social network platform in China, we constantly explore for synergies of how social can successfully transform industries and help push beyond traditional boundaries." About Renren Inc. Renren Inc. (NYSE: RENN) operates the leading real name social networking internet platform in China. It enables users to connect and communicate with each other, share information and user generated content, play online games, listen to music, shop for deals and enjoy a wide range of other features and services. Renren's platform includes the main social networking website Renren.com, the online games center game.Renren.com, the social commerce website Nuomi.com, and the video-sharing website 56.com. Renren had approximately 162 million activated users as of June 30, 2012.