Morgan Stanley Backs Online Lender Affirm with $100 Million in Debt
Consumer lending startup Affirm aims to replace credit card purchases with personal loans and has found a backer in Morgan Stanley.
Founded by former PayPal CTO and entrepreneur Max Levchin, Affirm secured a $100 million credit line from Morgan Stanley to expand its lending capacity. This latest round of financing totals the company’s fundraising to about $525 million in cash and debt financing with a $800 million valuation.
Affirm’s consumers are typically immigrants and recent college grads who do not own credit cards and have no credit history, who take out loans for big dollar online purchases like high end furniture, jewelry and gym equipment.
Affirm partners with ecommerce and internet service companies like Expedia, Casper Sleep and Eventbrite to offer personal loans (10-30 percent APR to be paid back within 12 months) to buyers at checkout.
The San Francisco-based company’s loans are funded by Cross River Bank and its investors include marquee Silicon Valley names like Lightspeed Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Andreesen Horowitz.
“The financial industry has managed to avoid significant disruptive innovation since the mid-90s, and we are working hard to change that. Our first goal is to bring simplicity, transparency, and fair pricing to consumer credit,” says Levchin on the company website. Is replacing credit card debt with personal loans a way to go about it?Last modified: October 13, 2016