Affirm Inc., an online lender, is reportedly in late-stage talks to land a new round of financing that would propel it to unicorn startup status.
Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Affirm is in talks for a round of financing totaling around $150 million. With the added investment, the lending company would be valued at $1.5 billion – which would be around double its valuation in April of 2016, when it had its latest round of fundraising. Affirm declined to comment on the report of the round of funding, noted Bloomberg.
People familiar with the matter said the funding would include a new investor that wasn’t named. Current investors – including Founders Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures and Spark Capital – will take part in the investment round. To date, Affirm has raised more than $650 million, according to research firm CB Insights.
News of the funding comes as Affirm is looking to branch into new markets. During The Wall Street Journal‘s WSJ D.Live technology conference earlier this year, Max Levchin, founder and CEO of Affirm, said the company is moving toward providing financial advice. Levchin founded Affirm to address what he saw as a serious “misalignment of goals” in much of the existing lending practices, with some businesses building entire models on fat late fees and a hope that their consumers will fail to pay their loans on time.
It’s a problem, Levchin has long noted, that there are banks whose success conditions depend on their customers’ financial failures. According to Levchin, Affirm wants to offer extended financial services aimed at helping consumers “get over this hump” of too much debt. “Here’s a button that we will power that you can use to pay off your debt, to reduce your interest payments,” he said, alluding to one possible service.