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CASE STUDY
Affirm, a point-of-sale, consumer-lending company

Affirm is a next-generation, data-driven fintech company that allows people to get loans quickly at the point of sale, with no hidden fees, to buy the things they want and feel good about their purchases.

Background:

Battery has been a longtime investor in financial technology. The firm’s fintech activity started in the 1980s and 90s when it backed companies providing the “picks and shovels”—back-end infrastructure—to financial institutions and exchanges to better facilitate financial transactions. Eventually, Battery began backing companies serving as middlemen in financial transactions, and then became involved with businesses actually taking balance-sheet risk or offering “embedded finance” technology, as well as other financial services.

Our relationship with Affirm and its founder/CEO Max Levchin started in 2015, when Battery General Partner Scott Tobin spoke with Levchin for an article he was writing for Forbes about the 25th anniversary of new immigration policies in the former Soviet Union that finally allowed Jewish citizens to emigrate overseas. Those policies played a role in Levchin’s family moving to the U.S. (The introduction to Levchin was made by another Battery portfolio CEO, Gilles Gade of Cross River Bank, an Affirm business partner.) Two years later, Battery team members became more interested in Affirm’s fast growth and market position, and after extensive due diligence—and competing with a number of other high-profile investors—Battery invested in the company’s January 2018 Series E round.

Battery invested in Affirm a second time and, over the next three years, helped introduce the company to a number of customers.

Outcomes: 

Affirm went public on NASDAQ under the symbol AFRM in January 2021.

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The presented case study investment was made in particular economic and market conditions. There can be no assurance that Battery Venture would elect, or be able, to exploit similar opportunities in a similar manner under similar or different economic and market conditions. More generally, there can be no assurances that the Battery vehicles will have comparable investment opportunities in the future. No assumptions should be made that any investments identified above were or will be profitable. It should not be assumed that recommendations made in the future will be profitable or comparable to the portfolio company described in this case study. For a full list of all Battery Ventures investments, please click here.

Details
Focus area
Application Software
INVESTED
2018
STATUS
NASDAQ: AFRM
Location
San Francisco, California
STAGE
Growth
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