Max Levchin’s lending start-up Affirm confidentially files to go public

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Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal and Affirm

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Lending startup Affirm said Thursday it confidentially filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its common stock. 

The company didn’t disclose its financial information and how many shares would be offered. Reuters first reported the news of Affirm’s plans to go public.

Founded in 2013 by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Affirm has become a prominent in the “buy now pay later” space that offers point-of-sale loans. The company allows customers to finance online purchases that can be paid back in monthly installments without accruing compounding interest. 

Affirm partners with around 6,000 merchants, including Peloton, Wayfair, Walmart and Warby Parker, and is used by 5.6 million people. Its competitors include Klarna, Afterpay and even PayPal’s recent “Pay in Four” service. 

Affirm was privately valued at $2.9 billion in April 2019, according to PitchBook, though the firm has raised more capital. Affirm most recently announced a $500 million series G round of funding, led by GIC and Durable Capital Partners LP. The Wall Street Journal reported in July that the company could be valued at as much as $10 billion in its IPO.

Affirm declined to comment on its IPO plans.

It’s the latest tech company to go public in a busy season for market debuts, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. It follows GoodRxSnowflake, Palantir and Unity, among others. Airbnb is also preparing for a public debut later this year.

Affirm ranked No. 23 on CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list in 2020. 

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