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Affirm files to go public

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Affirm, a consumer finance business founded by PayPal mafia member Max Levchin, filed to go public this afternoon.

The company’s financial results show that Affirm, which doles out personalized loans on an installment basis to consumers at the point of sale, has an enticing combination of rapidly expanding revenues and slimming losses.

Growth and a path to profitability has been a winning duo in 2020 as a number of unicorns with similar metrics have seen strong pricing in their debuts, and winsome early trading. Affirm joins DoorDash and Airbnb in pursuing an exit before 2020 comes to a close.

Let’s get a scratch at its financial results, and what made those numbers possible.

Affirm’s financials

Affirm recorded impressive historical revenue growth. In its 2019 fiscal year, Affirm booked revenues of $264.4 million. Fast forward one year and Affirm managed top line of $509.5 million in fiscal 2020, up 93% from the year-ago period. Affirm’s fiscal year starts on July 1, a pattern that allows the consumer finance company to fully capture the U.S. end-of-year holiday season in its figures.

The San Francisco-based company’s losses have also narrowed over time. In its 2019 fiscal year, Affirm lost $120.5 million on a fully-loaded basis (GAAP). That loss slightly fell to $112.6 million in fiscal 2020.

More recently, in its first quarter ending September 30, 2020, Affirm kept up its pattern of rising revenues and falling losses. In that three-month period, Affirm’s revenue totaled $174.0 million, up 98% compared to the year-ago quarter. That pace of expansion is faster than the company managed in its most recent full fiscal year.

Accelerating revenue growth with slimming losses is investor catnip; Affirm has likely enjoyed a healthy tailwind in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic boosting ecommerce, and thus gave the unicorn more purchase in the realm of consumer spend.

Again, comparing the company’s most recent quarter to its year-ago analog, Affirm’s net losses dipped to just $15.3 million, down from $30.8 million.

Affirm’s financials on a quarterly basis — located on page 107 of its S-1 if you want to follow along — give us a more granular understanding of how the fintech company performed amidst the global pandemic. After an enormous fourth quarter in calendar year 2019, growing its revenues to $130.0 million from $87.9 million in the previous quarter, Affirm managed to keep growing in the first, second, and third calendar quarters of 2020. In those periods, the consumer fintech unicorn recorded a top line of $138.2 million, $153.3 million, and $174 million, as we saw before.

Perhaps best of all, the firm turned a profit of $34.8 million in the quarter ending June 30, 2020. That one-time profit, along with its slim losses in its most recent period make Affirm appear to be a company that won’t hurt for future net income, provided that it can keep growing as efficiently as it has recently.

The COVID-19 angle

The pandemic has had more impact on Affirm than its raw revenue figures can detail. Luckily its S-1 filing has more notes on how the company adapted and thrived during this Black Swan year.

Certain sectors provided the company with fertile ground for its loan service. Affirm said that it saw an increase in revenue from merchants focused on home-fitness equipment, office products, and home furnishings during the pandemic. For example, its top merchant partner, Peloton, represented approximately 28% of its total revenue for the 2020 fiscal year, and 30% of its total revenue for the three months ending September 30, 2020.

Peloton is a success story in 2020, seeing its share price rise sharply as its growth accelerated across an uptick in digital fitness.

Investors, while likely content to cheer Affirm’s rapid growth, may cast a gimlet eye at the company’s dependence for such a large percentage of its revenue from a single customer; especially one that is enjoying its own pandemic-boost. If its top merchant partner losses momentum, Affirm will feel the repercussions, fast.

Regardless, Affirm’s model is resonating with customers. We can see that in its gross merchandise volume, or total dollar amount of all transactions that it processes.

GMV at the startup has grown considerably year-over-year, as you likely expected given its rapid revenue growth. On page 22 of its S-1, Affirm indicates that in its 2019 fiscal year, GMV reached $2.62 billion, which scaled to $4.64 billion in 2020.

Akin to the company’s revenue growth, its GMV did not grow by quite 100% on a year-over-year basis. What made that growth possible? Reaching new customers. As of September 30, 2020, Affirm has more than 3.88 million “active customers,” which the company defines as a “consumer who engages in at least one transaction on our platform during the 12 months prior to the measurement date.” That figure is up from 2.38 million in the September 30, 2019 quarter.

The growth is nice by itself, but Affirm customers are also becoming more active over time, which provides a modest compounding effect. In its most recent quarters, active customers executed an average of 2.2 transactions, up from 2.0 in third quarter of calendar 2019.

Also powering Affirm has been an ocean of private capital. For Affirm, having access to cash is not quite the same as a strictly-software company, as it deals with debt, which likely gives the company a slightly higher predilection for cash than other startups of similar size.

Luckily for Affirm, it has been richly funded throughout its life as a private company. The fintech unicorn has raised funds well in excess of $1 billion before its IPO, including a $500 million Series G in September of 2020, a $300 million Series F in April of 2019, and a $200 million Series E in December of 2017. Affirm also raised more than $400 million in earlier equity rounds, and a $100 million debt line in late 2016.

What to make of the filing? Our first-read take is that Affirm is coming out of the private markets as a healthier business than the average unicorn. Sure, it has a history of operating losses and not yet proven its ability to turn a sustainable profit, but its accelerating revenue growth is promising, as are its falling losses.

More tomorrow, with fresh eyes.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/11/18/affirm-files-to-go-public/

Blockchain

Banque de France Successfully Completes First CBDC Transactions

Europe

Banque de France (the French central bank) has announced the successful testing of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in collaboration with multiple financial and tech groups. The experiment was considered to be successful on December 17th of 2020 but wasn’t announced until January 19th of this year via a press release. It was completed […]

The post Banque de France Successfully Completes First CBDC Transactions appeared first on Blockonomi.

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Banque de France (the French central bank) has announced the successful testing of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in collaboration with multiple financial and tech groups.

The experiment was considered to be successful on December 17th of 2020 but wasn’t announced until January 19th of this year via a press release. It was completed in collaboration with IZNES, SETL, CACEIS, CITIGROUP, GROUPAMA AM, OFI AM, and DXC.

Conducted by Banque de France and its collaborators, the experiment consisted of the subscription and redemption of money market funds using blockchain technology provided by SETL, with over 2 million euros being transacted during the experiment (PDF).

Banque de France Shows Interest in Digital Currency Rising

The bank opened applications for CBDC experimentation back in March of 2020 intending to explore the potential offered by the technology, as well as identifying concrete cases in which CBDC could be integrated into innovative procedures.

Multiple countries in the European Union have been vocal about their interest in developing a digital Euro, with other countries like Italy and the Netherlands taking steps in proposing legislation and experimenting with blockchain technology in collaboration with local banks.

A Successful Experiment

SETL, in collaboration with the BDF and IZNES technology teams, provided the distributed ledger technology (DLT) and the underlying infrastructure for the issuance and redemption of the CBDC tokens.

The central bank then issued CBDC tokens on the private blockchain to simulate cash settlements by developing and deploying smart contracts. The bank was able to issue and control the circulation of the tokens throughout the simulation process.

On the other hand, CITI and CACEIS collaborated by purchasing CBDS tokens as participating commercial banks, which allowed the experimenters to replicate possible real-life scenarios and workflows.

While this experiment was a success, other experiments will be running until mid-2021, according to the bank as it hopes the findings “will be an important part of the Banque de France’s contribution to the Eurosystem’s more global reflection on the benefits of CBDC.”

Digital Currencies Powered by Blockchain Are the Future

The successful completion of this experiment represents an important step forward toward the adoption of CBDC by allowing regulators and legislators to assess the positive impact digital currencies can have on the national economy.

By using blockchain technology, central banks will be able to enhance the efficiency and resilience of financial transactions, while improving security and accessibility by settling them on-chain.

Sir David Walker, SETL Chairman, referred to the results by stating: “The successful completion of a central bank digital currency live experiment with BDF confirms that SETL is uniquely positioned to help transform Financial Markets. We are delighted to be recognized for the role we play in these significant market transformation programs.”

While some CBDCs use blockchain technology as their backbone, they are different from cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum due to the centralization of the ledger and the ability of central banks to regulate the issuing and supply of the currency.

A Boost for the Industry as a Whole

However, this new application of blockchain technology could further boost blockchain adoption and have an impact on how everyday people interact with digital assets, facilitating the transition to cryptocurrencies and decentralized platforms.

This collaboration also provides the companies participating in them with important data that could lead them to further develop their technology for the benefit of the entire blockchain ecosystem:

In the words of Philippe Morel, SETL CEO: “Further to the successful delivery of our two market infrastructures – the Fund Platform IZNES and the ID2S Central Securities Depository, we are now excited to take our Payments offering to the next level. Together with our proven track record in delivering regulated Market Infrastructures, this further strengthens SETL’s strategic capabilities.”

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Source: https://blockonomi.com/banque-de-france-successfully-completes-first-cbdc-transactions/

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Blockchain

JPMorgan Sebut Grayscale Jadi Kunci Stabilitas Harga Bitcoin Saat Ini

Kanalcoin.com –  Perusahaan manajemen aset digital terbesar di dunia, Grayscale Investments, disebut-sebut menjadi pemegang kunci harga bitcoin (BTC) bisa stabil sampai saat ini. Hal tersebut disampaikan oleh peneliti dari JPMorgan Chase. JPMorgan melakukan penelitian yang dipimpin oleh ahli strategi keuangan bernama Nikolas Panigirtzoglou. Dalam penelitian yang dilakukan Nikolas tersebut, bitcoin diperkirakan akan kehilangan masa kejayaannya […]

The post JPMorgan Sebut Grayscale Jadi Kunci Stabilitas Harga Bitcoin Saat Ini appeared first on Kanalcoin.

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JPMorgan Sebut Grayscale Jadi Kunci Stabilitas Harga Bitcoin


Kanalcoin.com –  Perusahaan manajemen aset digital terbesar di dunia, Grayscale Investments, disebut-sebut menjadi pemegang kunci harga bitcoin (BTC) bisa stabil sampai saat ini. Hal tersebut disampaikan oleh peneliti dari JPMorgan Chase.

JPMorgan melakukan penelitian yang dipimpin oleh ahli strategi keuangan bernama Nikolas Panigirtzoglou. Dalam penelitian yang dilakukan Nikolas tersebut, bitcoin diperkirakan akan kehilangan masa kejayaannya dalam jangka pendek.

Akan tetapi, Nikolas menyebut kalau ada satu syarat yang membuat bitcoin bisa saja tidak kehilangan level tertinggi mereka saat ini. Satu hal yang dimaksud adalah harga bitcoin bisa menembus angka di atas $ 40 ribu atau sekitar Rp 564 juta per tokennya.

Sebenarnya, bitcoin sempat menembus harga di atas $ 40 ribu beberapa waktu yang lalu. Akan tetapi, hal tersebut hanya terjadi sebanyak dua kali dalam bulan Januari ini. Satu kali saat harga bitcoin mencapai yang tertinggi sepanjang masa, yakni $ 42 ribu (Rp 592 juta). Satu kali yang lainnya adalah terjadi pada minggu lalu.

Namun, stabilnya harga bitcoin di atas $ 40 ribu akan dipengaruhi oleh satu pihak. Menurut para ahli strategi keuangan JPMorgan, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust memegang peran penting dalam kondisi tersebut.

Hal itu dikarenakan, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust saat ini memiliki aset bitcoin sebesar $ 23 miliar (Rp 324,23 triliun) yang mereka kelola. Oleh karena itu, Grayscale memegang peranan yang sangat penting dalam stabilitas harga bitcoin saat ini.

Kendati demikian, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust harus terus menjaga konsistensi aliran bitcoin ke dalam perusahaan mereka dengan nilai sebesar $ 100 juta per harinya secara berturut-turut dalam hitungan hari dan minggu.

“Aliran ke Grayscale Bitcoin Trust kemungkinan akan perlu mempertahankan kecepatannya sebesar US $ 100 juta per hari selama beberapa hari dan minggu mendatang agar terobosan seperti itu terjadi,” tulis para ahli strategi keuangan, dikutip Kanalcoin.com dari Cointelegraph.

Sejak bitcoin menembus harga $ 20 ribu per tokennya, bitcoin mengalami kenaikan harga yang luar biasa ekstrem dalam tiga minggu. Bitcoin mampu melonjak mencapai dua kali lipat hanya dalam waktu yang sangat singkat.

Salah satu faktor yang mempengaruhi hal tersebut memang disebut-sebut adalah Grayscale. Pengaruh Grayscale kepada naiknya harga bitcoin cukup besar sampai saat ini. Arus masuk mingguan rata-rata saja mampu menyentuh angka $ 250,7 juta pada kuartal keempat.

Angka tersebut merupakan yang paling tertinggi sepanjang masa dalam sejarah Grayscale. Padahal, sebelumnya Grayscale hanya menghasilkan arus masuk sebesar $ 217,1 juta rata-rata per minggu.

Naiknya arus masuk yang dialami Grayscale Bitcoin Trust tersebut bukan tanpa alasan. Hal tersebut dikarenakan Grayscale membuka kembali layanannya kepada para investor baru pada 13 Januari yang lalu.

(*)


Source: https://www.kanalcoin.com/jpmorgan-sebut-grayscale-jadi-kunci-stabilitas-harga-bitcoin-saat-ini/

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Blockchain

Mulai Rambah Dunia Bitcoin, PayPal Diprediksi Dapat Pemasukan hingga $ 2 Miliar

Kanalcoin.com –  Perusahaan keuangan dan pembayaran digital terbesar di dunia, PayPal, diperkirakan akan memperoleh pendapatan mencapai $ 2 miliar atau sekitar Rp 28,14 triliun dari bisnis bitcoin yang mulai mereka rambah beberapa waktu belakangan. Hal tersebut disampaikan oleh seorang analis dari Mizuho Securities, Don Dolev. Dolev menyampaikan kalau PayPal bisa saja mendapatkan pendapatan sebesar $ […]

The post Mulai Rambah Dunia Bitcoin, PayPal Diprediksi Dapat Pemasukan hingga $ 2 Miliar appeared first on Kanalcoin.

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Paypal Rambah Bitcoin


Kanalcoin.com –  Perusahaan keuangan dan pembayaran digital terbesar di dunia, PayPal, diperkirakan akan memperoleh pendapatan mencapai $ 2 miliar atau sekitar Rp 28,14 triliun dari bisnis bitcoin yang mulai mereka rambah beberapa waktu belakangan.

Hal tersebut disampaikan oleh seorang analis dari Mizuho Securities, Don Dolev. Dolev menyampaikan kalau PayPal bisa saja mendapatkan pendapatan sebesar $ 2 miliar dari bisnis bitcoin mereka pada 2023 mendatang.

Dolev menyampaikan kalau faktor yang mempengaruhi prediksinya tersebut adalah naiknya tingkat penggunaan aplikasi PayPal oleh para pengguna. Pasalnya, ada sekitar 50 persen pengguna mata uang kripto membuka aplikasi PayPal setiap harinya.

“Baik survei dan komentar manajemen kami mengungkap peningkatan dramatis dalam keterlibatan karena crypto,” ucap Dolev, dikutip Kanalcoin.com dari News.Bitcoin.com.

PayPal sendiri mengumumkan pada Oktober 2020 lalu kalau mereka saat ini mulai merambah ke dunia bitcoin. PayPal menyebut kalau 346 juta pengguna aplikasi mereka kini bisa membeli, menyimpan, dan menjual bitcoin dan aset digital lainnya melalui akun PayPal milik mereka.

PayPal menggunakan layanan pertukaran mata uang fiat ke mata uang kripto, yakni Paxos dan Itbit sebagai partner mereka. Sejak diumumkan, bisnis mata uang kripto PayPal mendapat respon positif dan banjir peminat.

Bahkan, survei yang dilakukan Dolev menyebutkan kalau para trader bitcoin (BTC) menggunakan aplikasi PayPal tiga kali lebih sering dibandingkan para pengguna yang tidak terlibat di dunia bitcoin. Hal tersebut terjadi setelah PayPal mengumumkan keikutsertaan mereka di dunia bitcoin.

Selain itu, para trader juga disebutkan memiliki jumlah saldo BTC lebih tinggi di Paypal daripada di dompet digital mereka selainnya.

Di sisi lain, seorang analis dari Moffett Nathanson, Lisa Ellis, memperkirakan PayPal akan memperoleh pendapatan mencapai $ 600 juta atau sekitar Rp 8,44 triliun dari lini bisnis bitcoin mereka pada 2021 ini. Selain itu, Ellis juga percaya kalau lini bisnis mata uang kripto yang dimiliki oleh PayPal saat ini bisa berkontribusi dalam keuangan jangka panjang perusahaan.

“Dalam jangka panjang, kami percaya inisiatif cryptocurrency Paypal memiliki nilai strategis yang signifikan,” ucap Ellis.

Selain mempengaruhi faktor keuangan, keputusan untuk masuk ke lini produksi bitcoin membuat PayPal menjadi aplikasi tujuan bagi para pelanggan sebagai layanan keuangan yang melayani berbagai kebutuhan.

PayPal nantinya juga akan diposisikan sebagai pihak yang membantu membentuk peran jangka panjang mata uang kripto dalam sistem pembayaran yang dilakukan oleh konsumen.

Sementara itu, saham PayPal sendiri saat ini diprediksi akan naik hingga menyentuh angka $ 350 yang semula hanya diperkirakan menyentuh angka $ 290. Selama setahun terakhir, saham PayPal sempat menyentuh harga tertinggi $ 249,85 dan terendah pada angka $ 82,07. Kenaikan harga saham PayPal tersebut juga diperkirakan berkat lini bisnis bitcoin.

(*)


Source: https://www.kanalcoin.com/mulai-rambah-dunia-bitcoin-paypal-diprediksi-dapat-pemasukan-hingga-2-miliar/

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AI

Trovata.io raises $20 million to aggregate enterprise bank accounts with AI

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Banking technology startup Trovata.io today announced it has raised $20 million in a series A round led by Wells Fargo Strategic Capital. The investment will be used to deliver new services and accelerate multi-bank APIs globally, the company says, and to add more bank distribution partners.

Trovata founder and CEO Brett Turner, who has spent time at Deloitte and Amazon, predicted that the rise of consumer bank aggregators driving fintech would lead to direct APIs for commercial banking and treasury services from banks globally. These prebuilt bank integrations, he believed, would remove enterprises’ need for legacy implementations or IT support and enable self-setup.

Turner launched 35-employee Trovata in 2019 in anticipation of the transformation, with a platform to aggregate companies’ bank balances and transactions natively on wholesale banking APIs. Using AI and machine learning, Trovata can automate cash-centric workflows such as cash reporting, analysis, and forecasting, allowing companies to see how much cash they have in real time while managing cash flow and building and maintaining forecasts.

Trovata acts as a high-performance data lake to store and manage bank data in a scalable multi-bank environment. The platform collects and normalizes data and then generates a forecast, leveraging machine learning to establish a baseline and analyze historical trends to increase forecast accuracy.

Trovata lets customers including Square tag data by region, entity, division, or arbitrary label. It also translates all non-USD denominated amounts into USD equivalents, offering the ability to drill down and generate forecasts for subsidiaries individually. A Google-like natural language search tool with a 300 millisecond response rate lets users find and tag key vendors, customers, and partners across millions of transactions.

“The tipping point is near, and … Trovata can play [a profound role] in wholesale banking and treasury services. The pandemic has spurned the need for better cash visibility, bank data in real time, and more proactive cash forecasting. Companies growing and contracting are in need of these things which have only accelerated interest,” Turner said in a statement. “Revenue is confidential, but our average deal size is roughly $25,00 and we’ve grown from 0 to nearly 100 mid-market and small enterprise customers in 18 months. We’ll be announcing a new up-market product for the enterprise later this month and expect to grow 4 times to 5 times this year.”

“We are keen on how technology is reinventing the treasury function into a modern, insight-driven operation that helps our clients deliver on their business strategy,” Wells Fargo Strategic Capital managing director Basil Darwish added. “Trovata provides distinctive technology and a client-centric approach to automating treasury services, and we’re excited to support their ongoing growth with this investment.”

Capital One Ventures and Pivot Investment Partners also participated in Trovata’s series A announced today, as well as existing early investors J.P. Morgan and Fintop Capital. This brings the San Diego-based company’s total raised to over $30 million, following seed and venture rounds totaling $10.6 million.

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/01/19/trovata-io-raises-20-million-to-aggregate-enterprise-bank-accounts-with-ai/

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