Most Innovative Companies


Affirm is an American financial technology company based in San Francisco founded by PayPal founder Max Levchin. Affirm lets users take out microloans at the point of sale with participating vendors and aims to provide a quick, transparent, and more inclusive lending alternative to credit cards. Customers enter their basic information and know within seconds (as opposed to weeks) if they're approved. Affirm looks at more than a FICO score, evaluating other things like social media activity to gauge financial responsibility. Lower interest rates and increased transparency make Affirm appealing to millennials, and merchants like that Affirm assumes all the lending risks. Plus, retail partners see bigger purchases. Levchin doesn't want Affirm to make money from customers' debt. Instead, Affirm gets a small cut of sales, plus revenue from interest on loans. In 2015, the company raised $275 million in debt and equity financing, joined forces with point of sale system Clover to infiltrate checkout counters at brick-and-mortar stores, and also partnered with a handful of coding bootcamps like General Assembly to help students pay for school.
public or private: Private
users: 600+ online merchants
headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Competition: Amazon, PayPal
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