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Deals

Max Levchin's Affirm confidentially files for U.S. IPO

(Reuters) - PayPal Holdings Inc PYPL.O co-founder Max Levchin's Affirm Holdings Inc has confidentially filed with the U.S. securities and exchange commission for an initial public offering, the lending startup said on Thursday.

The move comes amid a massive rebound in the IPO market that came to a halt in April due to the economic uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic. The likes of short-term home rental company Airbnb and food delivery company DoorDash are also gearing up for IPOs later this year.

Companies have raised more than $100 billion in U.S. IPOs so far in 2020, comfortably outpacing a $62.5 billion haul in 2019, and on track to be the biggest year since 2000, according to data from Dealogic.

Levchin started Affirm in 2013 to give consumers without credit history or savings accounts access to small loans. The startup offers financing for online purchases, such as a couch or guitar, that can be paid back in monthly installments.

In April 2019, Affirm raised $300 million in a funding round led by Thrive Capital, and included actor Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures.

The round valued the company at nearly $3 billion, but the Wall Street Journal reported in July that Affirm could be valued at $10 billion in its IPO. ((on.wsj.com/34EQlWW))

For Levchin, Affirm is something of a PayPal 2.0, using big data analytics and highly complex security systems to offer consumers an alternative to traditional banks.

Reporting by Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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