PayPal Co-Founder Max Levchin Announces His New Payments Startup Affirm

Affirm is a new payments startup company that was founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Max Levchin.  This is the first project that has launched from the San Francisco based tech incubator Hard, Valuable, Fun (HVF).  Levchin launched HVF after selling his company Slide to Google.  Before that he sold PayPal to eBay with his business partner Peter Thiel.  Affirm is not a mobile payments company that competes with Square or Stripe.  It actually focuses on improving conversions for mobile payments.

Levchin is an investor in Stripe and that company will be processing credit card payments on the backend of Affirm.  One of Affirm’s largest competitors is Klarna, a Sweden-based payment solutions company that hit around $200 million in revenues last year.  Affirm will be using Facebook for authentication of their consumers.

“We are trying to get as close as possible to one-click, which has always been the case on the desktop,” stated Levchin in an interview with AllThingsD. “In mobile, it has become an imperative to be able to buy it now or you lose a customer quickly.”  Levchin said that Affirm will be a digital charge card rather than a credit card.  The company’s beta launch partner is 1-800-FLOWERS.  Affirm is funded by Levchin and a group of friends in the low-digit millions.

“Unless you are shopping at the world’s largest bookseller or getting an iProduct, the online checkout experience has not improved in more than a decade. Affirm brings that same speed and convenience to any mobile checkout experience by significantly reducing the number of steps needed for checkout. Conversion rates go up. Repeat purchases climb. Mobile moves from being a cool channel to a meaningful one,” says Affirm’s merchant page.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
Leave a Comment