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Offering alternatives to traditional credit cards

Whether your latest purchase was a new phone, a pair of sneakers, or new ski poles, chances are you encountered the Affirm payment system. Affirm is one of the leaders in the fintech space, an industry with steep growth and rapidly expanding market opportunities. They offer alternatives to traditional credit cards by providing customers with simple ways to pay for purchases. 

With their two-sided network, Affirm delivers value for both consumers and merchants. They are giving the merchants flexible, transparent payment options. And valuable customer insights, more sales, and higher customer satisfaction for the merchants. So, the Affirm platform basically enables customers to; pay over time with zero percent interest-bearing loans. Use universally accepted methods of payment. Split pay with biweekly payment options. Discover products through a personalized and data-driven marketplace. And lastly, an FDIC-insured interest-bearing savings account. 

One of the major BNPL providers

Today, Affirm is one of the major players in the fast-growing financing field - Buy now, Pay later (BNPL), and while every provider of the BNPL solution has their unique ways of doing business, the basic concept is the same: offering customers the possibility to spread out the payments for their purchases - basically a short-term loan - coming from not the merchant, but a third-party provider - Affirm being one such. 

The company has integrated partners such as Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, and Target, to name a few, and combined, they address more than 60 percent of total U.S. retail e-commerce sales. However, there seems to be room for continued growth as the total North American e-commerce market was valued at $900 billion in 2021, compared to Affirm’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $12 billion. 

Founded to build a next-generation credit network

The originator of Affirm is the Ukrainian-American software engineer and entrepreneur Max Levchin, who also co-founded the company that eventually became PayPal. In 2011, he started a company called HVF (Hard, Valuable, and Fun), intending to explore and fund data-driven projects and companies. Affirm was spun out of HVF in 2012 when Levchin, Palantir co-founder Nathan Gettings, and Jeff Kadits from First Data set out to build a next-generation credit network.