Last year, Levchin spoke with TechCrunch co-editor Alexia Tsotsis about the NSA, lessons he learned from PayPal and his fertility app, Glow, which now is doing rather well. But Levchin just can’t sit still and he’s got a new venture. And, wouldn’t you know, it’s about commerce.
His latest company, Affirm, is a financial company that uses data to solve hard problems in finance, and offers consumer credit at the point of sale. If there’s a service you’ve used on the internet, there’s a good chance Max Levchin has been involved in it. Levchin counts PayPal, Yelp, and Slide among companies he’s helped bring to life either as founder or advisor.
Affirm launched out of the Levchin’s own company building investment vehicle, HVF. Affirm has quietly landed $45 million in debt and equity financing from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Nyca Partners, and Khosla Ventures.
The company’s first product, Split Pay, gives consumers the ability to take out a short-term loan to finance transactions, structuring financing like home and car loans and avoiding the costly and consumer-unfriendly credit card APRs.
Affirm wants to make it as easy to secure financing as it is to post a message on social media. It uses context-driven cues from social networks to determine whether you’d actually make good on a loan before it provides it to you. Affirm isn’t the only outlet trying to revolutionize the loan industry, though, and competition is particularly tough with the likes of Lending Club and others. Can Affirm be successful in this crowded market? They’ve certainly got the right man at the top.
Levchin was one of the original co-founders of PayPal, and served as the company’s CTO until it sold to eBay in 2002. In 2004, he helped start ratings and review service Yelp, where he currently serves as chairman of the board. Levchin also sits on Yahoo’s board. Levchin founded Slide in 2005, a service that enables users to create and personalize widgets and use them on social networks, blogs and desktops. Slide was acquired by Google in 2010 for $228 million.
Levchin is also co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Glow, an app that wants to help women get pregnant through managing their cycle. Glow will even pay for in vitro fertilization for couples for whom the cycle tracking doesn’t work. Tracking ovulation cycles is just one of the many ways Levchin believes we can use technology and data to better enhance our daily lives.
We’re thrilled that Levchin will be joining us at Disrupt, and hope you’ll be there to hear his plans for Affirm and what might come out of HVF next. Early bird tickets for Disrupt are available through September 1st, and if you’re interested in sponsoring the events, sponsorship packages are still available too.
Anthony Domanico contributed to this article.