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Fintech startup Affirm aims for over $9 billion valuation in U.S. IPO

(Reuters) -Affirm Holdings Inc, founded by PayPal Holdings Inc 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 $3 billion, 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 LLC.

Affirm’s offering kicks off what is expected to be yet another frenetic IPO season for U.S. capital markets.

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

Companies raised a record $167.63 billion in the United States in 2020, according to Dealogic data. In comparison, $108 billion 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.

Reporting by Anirban Sen in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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