Confirm S-1 files for IPO

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Payments firm Affirm filed its IPO prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday and plans to list on Nasdaq under the symbol “AFRM.”The San Francisco-based company, founded and run by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, offers installment loans online. Affirm has been one of the most popular start-ups in the industry. It announced a partnership with Shopify earlier this year, allowing merchants to offer installment loans on the products they sell, and works with 6,500 merchants, including Peloton, Expedia and Walmart.

The eight-year-old company generated around $ 510 million in revenue for the fiscal year ended June 30 – a 93% jump from a year ago, according to the filing. In the three months ending September 30, revenue grew 98% year-over-year, while net losses fell by about half to $ 15.3 million .

Although they don’t charge interest, Affirm does earn a fee when they help a merchant make a sale. On the consumer side, they earn interest on the loans they buy from banking partners. Affirm also earns interest on certain consumer loans. The rate they charge varies depending on the creditworthiness of consumers, but often starts at 0%.

Affirm said gross merchandise volume – a key metric in the payments industry – grew 77% year over year. It has more than 6.5 million customers. About 64% of loans on Affirm this year were taken out by regular consumers.

The company plans to offer two classes of shares, an increasingly common practice among start-ups in Silicon Valley. Class A will have one vote, while class B ordinary shares will have 15 votes. Max Levchin, the Founder, President and CEO, will control the votes of the company.

Affirm is part of a wave of start-ups looking to go public before the end of the year. DoorDash and Airbnb both applied last week.

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