Affirm IPO sees shares surge 98%

Affirm, a San-Francisco buy now, pay later (BNPL) fintech, has almost doubled its value following a successful initial public offering (IPO) on 13 January.

The fintech, led by PayPal co-founder, Max Levchin, priced its shares at $49 a piece, above its target range of $41 to $44 each.

Affirm managed to more than halve losses by June 2020

Shares then surged to $97.24 at the market close. That’s a 98% gain jump from the IPO price.

Affirm closed its IPO with a market value of more than $23 billion. The company has a fully diluted valuation of almost $30 billion, including options and restricted stock units, according to Bloomberg calculations.’

The fintech filed for its IPO back in October, but kept all the financials private.

For Levchin, it marks almost two decades since PayPal went public. He owned a stake in Affirm worth almost $1.4 billion at its IPO … Read the rest

Video: Top fintech stories this week – 15 January 2021

The FinTech Futures weekly round-up of the industry’s top stories and developments from across the globe.

This week we cover:


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Mercado becoming markets editor at CNBC

CNBC personal finance writer Darla Mercado is becoming a markets editor for the business news website. She starts her new position next week. As a personal finance writer, she has been writing about taxes, retirement planning,...

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Grab’s fintech arm lands $300m Series A

Grab, the Singapore-based ride sharing turned “super app”, has landed a $300 million Series A funding round for its fintech arm.

Led by Hanwha Asset Management – one of South Korea’s Big Three – the round also saw participation from early Grab backers K3 Ventures and GGV Capital. Flourish Ventures, the venture capital firm funded by eBay’s founder Pierre Omidyar, and Arbor Ventures, also participated in the round.

It says it will use the funding to keep serving Singapore’s unbanked population. Southeast Asia as a whole houses an unbanked population of around 290 million, according to US credit agency Fitch Ratings.

Grab launched its first micro-investment service last August

The fintech arm, called Grab Financial Group, saw its total revenues jump up by more than 40% in 2020, compared to 2019.

Just last month, Grab and its partner – major Asian telco Singtel – became just one set of two … Read the rest

Sacramento Biz Journal hires Geraldo as a data reporter

The Sacramento Business Journal has hired Renata Geraldo as a data reporter. She starts next week. Gerado was a reporter with the Wall Street Journal corporate team as part of the fall 2020 newsroom...

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CoinSwitch Kuber’s $15m Series A marks Ribbit Capital’s first Indian crypto deal

Ribbit Capital, the Palo Alto-based backer of Revolut, Robinhood and Affirm, has led its first Indian cryptocurrency deal.

CoinSwitch Kuber, one of India’s crypto investing platforms, landed a $15 million Series A led by Ribbit Capital. The investor also backs non-crypto Indian firms such as CRED, Razorpay, and Zest.

CoinSwitch Kuber’s co-founders Vimal Sagar Tiwari, Ashish Singhal, and Govind Soni

San Francisco-based Paradigm co-led the round alongside Ribbit Capital. Founded by Coinbase’s co-creator, Fred Ehrsam, and Matt Huang, a former Sequoia partner, Paradigm is a crypto-focused investor.

The two backers are investing in CoinSwitch Kuber ahead of a year which sees the start-up gun for a user base of ten million.

The fintech, founded in 2017, says it will put the new capital towards its technology, security, compliance and new product capabilities.

Existing investors participating in the round include Sequoia Capital India. As well as angel investor, Kunal Shah, who … Read the rest

AP econ reporter Boak moving to White House team

Associated Press economics reporter Josh Boak is moving to the news service’s White House team. He will be focused on President-elect Joe Biden’s handling of the economy, both the policies his administration is championing and the...

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Freetrade pauses trading for US stocks following technical issues

Freetrade, a UK-founded stock trading app, had to temporarily pause trading of US stocks on Monday after a third-party provider supplied inaccurate pricing.

The fintech announced the pause in US stock trading at 15:31 PM on 11 January. It said the issue was fixed via Twitter two hours later.

Some investors woke up to their US stocks up over 2000%

But users complained that the app suggested the US market was closed until Tuesday. And despite claiming issues were fixed, one user tweeted on 12 January saying some prices were still “nearly an hour old”.

According to Freetrade, other brokers were affected by the pricing inaccuracies. FinTech Futures approached the start-up to find out who the third-party provider is.

It’s unclear who the other brokers are that were affected. Direct competitor Trading 212 did not post about technical issues on Twitter, nor did larger players in the UK like eToro.… Read the rest

Ledbetter hired as chief content officer for Clarim Media

Longtime business journalist James Ledbetter has been hired to be chief content officer of Clarim Media, the parent company of Worth magazine and Techonomy. Ledbetter said that Clarim will continue the fintech newsletter he started last...

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