Payments

Affirm reportedly delays its initial public offering

Company now won't go public until the first quarter of 2021, sources say

Affirm Holdings Inc. (better known as simply Affirm) is pushing out its initial public offering, according to media reports.

The Wall Street Journal on Saturday published an article, citing “people familiar with the matter” who said the alternative payments provider “won’t go public until January at the earliest.”

PayPal co-founder Max Levchin helped launch San Francisco-based Affirm to provide consumers a replacement for credit cards, one of the earliest players in the increasingly hot “Buy Now, Pay Later BNPL) market. Its mobile app offers installment loans to consumers at the point of sale.

Although there was talk over the summer that the company might go public, those of us following thought an IPO had been postponed when Affirm raised a massive $500 million Series G round in September. But then in October, the 8-year-old company surprised us all by filing confidentially for an IPO that would value the company at as much as $10 billion.

It dropped its S-1 in November, revealing that its revenue surged 93 percent to $509.5 million in its fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, compared with $264 million in its previous fiscal year. At the same time, its net loss declined slightly – to $112.6 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, compared to $120.4 million in its last fiscal year. 

While Affirm is not commenting on the rumors, the WSJ’s sources cited a couple of potential factors including the unexpected first-day pops of both of DoorDash and Airbnb in their public debuts last week, as well as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission delays due to “a flood of listing requests.”

Of course, fintech twitter had plenty to say on the matter with,for example, Pipe co-founder and co-CEO Harry Hurst speculating that “Affirm re-prices its IPO at $15B+ after this week’s action.”

Guess we’ll see what happens in Q1 2021.

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