Max Levchin is a big name around Silicon Valley.
Aside from cofounding PayPal, Levchin helped found Yelp, and he also sits on the board of directors for Yahoo!
Meanwhile, at just 39 years old, one could argue Levchin’s career is still taking off.
Indeed, this powerful entrepreneur isn’t resting on his laurels. Along with several former PayPal employees, Levchin has founded Affirm, a financing company offering a flexible alternative to credit cards. In its own words, Affirm offers “financing when and how you want it.”
The idea is simple: When making a transaction, consumers will have the option to use “Split Pay,” a service that pays the vendor up front and allows the customer to pay back the money in installments.
Affirm takes on the credit card risk and, in turn, collects interest from the customer. The amount of interest varies depending on the customer’s creditworthiness, which Affirm calculates with its proprietary software.
According to Levchin, millennials are the motivation behind his new company.
In a quote captured by Business Insider, Levchin said, “It’s no secret that the young millennial demo lives entirely out of their debit cards. The reason for this is after having seen the 2008 financial collapse and what debt can do to you, they try to stay away from borrowing money.”
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A three-year study titled the Millennial Disruption Index corroborates Levchin’s argument.
According to the study, nearly half of all millennials are counting on tech startups to overhaul the way banks work today. A whopping 73% would be more excited about a new offering in financial services from Google, Amazon, Apple, PayPal, or Square than from their own nationwide bank.
Will Affirm be the tech startup to inspire America’s largest generation? At this point, it’s hard to say.
Still, the company appears to be heading in the right direction. It recently raised $275 million in venture capital from Spark Capital Growth, Jefferies, and Andreessen Horowitz, and its existing investors re-upped.
Bottom line: It may be early in the banking revolution, but Affirm is already turning many heads.