PayPal co-founder to float 'buy now, pay later' FinTech Affirm seeking $9bn valuation

San Francisco-based company is backed by Peter Thiel's Founders Fund and Singaporean wealth fund GIC

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03:  Co-founder and CEO of Affirm Max Levchin participates in a panel discussion at the New York Times 2015 DealBook Conference at the Whitney Museum of American Art on November 3, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times)
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Affirm Holdings, founded by PayPal Holdings co-founder Max Levchin, is aiming for a valuation of over $9 billion in its initial public offering, the lending startup said in a filing on Tuesday.

Affirm said it plans to price its shares, to be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker 'AFRM', between $33 and $38 each and raise as much as $935 million from the sale.

The projected valuation of the company would represent a more than three-fold jump from its last private funding round, when it was valued at a shade less than $3bn, according to PitchBook.

The fintech venture had planned to complete its IPO before the end of last year, but was forced to delay the share float by a few weeks.

Levchin started Affirm in 2012 to give people 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.

Affirm's major investors include Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, Scottish asset manager Baillie Gifford, venture capital firm Spark Capital and Fidelity Management and Research Company.

Affirm's offering kicks off what is expected to be yet another frenetic IPO season for US capital markets.

A number of high-profile private firms and 'unicorn' startups such as Robinhood, Instacart and Coinbase are expected to debut on US stock exchanges later this year.

Companies raised a record $167.63bn in the United States in 2020, according to Dealogic data. In comparison, $108bn was raised in 1999, the previous record for capital raised through new issues.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co are the lead underwriters for Affirm's offering.

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