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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Affirm, a fintech company that lets online retailers provide pay-later options for customers, has filed to go public.

Why it matters: The company, founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, is the latest Silicon Valley "unicorn" to file for an IPO as the year draws to a close. A number of tech companies are rushing to go public before the end of the year, including Airbnb and DoorDash, with Roblox and others also rumored to be in the pipeline.

By the numbers:

  • For the fiscal years ended June 30, 2019 and 2020, Affirm's revenue was $264.4 million and $509.5 million, respectively. It had net losses of $120.5 million and $112.6 million for those same periods.
  • For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2019 and 2020, it had revenue of $87.9 million and $174.0 million, respectively, with net losses of $30.8 million and $15.3 million.
  • It says that as of Sept. 30, more than 6.2 million consumers have completed about 17.3 million transactions with over 6,500 merchants via its service, with a total gross merchandise volume (net of refunds) of about $10.7 billion transacted since July 1, 2016.
  • The offering creates a dual-class stock structure, though there's a seven-year sunset at which Levchin's Class B common stock, which comes with 15 votes a share, will convert.
  • In addition to Levchin, other large shareholders include Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Jasmine Ventures Pte.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Dec 3, 2020 - Economy & Business

The silver lining in 2020's weak Black Friday sales

Data: Placer.ai; Chart: Axios Visuals

Black Friday was disappointing for retailers this year, as spending numbers underwhelmed and foot traffic declined dramatically, according to data from analytics firm Placer.ai.

By the numbers: Customer visits were down, on average, more than 26% compared to Black Friday 2019 at the six retailers Placer tracked.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Dec 3, 2020 - Economy & Business

Zoom's success makes Slack's stagnation even more puzzling

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Zoom and Slack are very similar companies. One of them is riding high, however, while the other, beset by losses and a sluggish share price, has ended up selling itself to a strategic acquirer.

Details: Zoom and Slack are both high-profile and highly successful examples of the new breed of enterprise software. The sales technique is to create a super-popular free version that gets adopted by so many people in a company that eventually the CTO agrees to make it official and buy it.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
9 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.