Affirm Nears “Minotaur” Status Following $300 Million Funding Round
When it comes to FinTech, there have certainly been several ups and downs in the news cycle. While there have been down weeks led by news of regulatory inquiries or legal challenges, there are other weeks filled with small wins. It seems that the industy is enjoying a bit of the latter as one FinTech financer has just closed a big funding round.
This week Affirm announced that it had raised $300 million in a Series F round led by Thrive Capital along with the participation of Wellington Management Company LLP, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Baillie Gifford, and Sound Ventures (the VC founded by Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary). Combined with a previous $200 million Series E in 2017 and other rounds before that, the company’s total funding now tops $1 billion according to Crunchbase. That would make them the latest “minotaur” — a term coined by Axios to describe startups that have surpassed that funding milestone. However a press release from Affirm themselves puts their total equity funding at “over $800 million.” In either case, the company is solidly a unicorn, with their latest round valuing them at $2.9 billion post-money.
Affirm’s big fund raising round comes on the heels a major deal it made with one of the world’s largest retailers: Walmart. Last month the company announced a partnership that will bring Affirm financing to Walmart shoppers across the country. This option will first be made available via Walmart.com before rolling out to most Supercenter locations in the United States.
In a press release, Affirm co-founder and CEO Max Levchin commented on this winning streak, noting, “The past year has been an incredible period for Affirm and this investment validates our stage as a mature, established and respected leader in an extremely competitive industry.” He went on to say, “I’m especially proud that we’ve built a successful financial services business that does as much good for consumers as it does for retailers and investors.” To that point, Affirm has prided itself on its transparency, allowing potential customers to easily see the cost of their installment loans before borrowing. They also promise “no hidden fees and no surprises.”
Incidentally this hasn’t been the only notable FinTech funding round to close in recent weeks. Crunchbase reports that Bill.com has also just announced that it raised $88 million in funding at a valuation of $1 billion (hello, unicorn). Meanwhile the small business banking startup Novo closed a $4.8 million seed round just earlier this week.
Obviously the past few weeks have brought some great VC-centric news to the FinTech industry. Following the relatively small round raised by Novo, now we have a big money deal in the case of Affirm. Considering that the company has already proven to be a major player as it continues to add retailers to its impressive roster of partners, it’s really no surprise that the company is now nearing “minotaur” status. At this rate, expect Affirm to officially meet that milestone in the near future.