The red hot initial public offering market is picking up in 2021 right where it left off at the end of last year. Buzzy online lending startup Affirm, which lets people buy now and pay later for goods, soared about 90% in its market debut Wednesday.
Affirm (AFRM), whose CEO and founder is PayPal (PYPL) co-founder Max Levchin, sold $1.2 billion in the stock offering and is now worth more than $22.5 billion. The surge for Affirm follows the big jumps for Airbnb (ABNB), DoorDash (DASH) and Palantir (PLTR) when they began trading late last year.
The company, like many startups, is growing rapidly. Sales in its latest fiscal year nearly doubled to more than $500 million. But like most unicorns, Affirm is not yet profitable.
Still, the successful IPO is the latest feather in the caps of the so-called PayPal mafia, former executives at the digital payments giant who went on to even bigger things in the world of tech and finance.
That list includes venture capitalist Peter Thiel, a Palantir co-founder and one of the few high-profile Republican/Trump donors in Silicon Valley, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Yelp (YELP) CEO and co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman and YouTube co-founders Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim.
And oh yeah, some guy named Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla (TSLA) and SpaceX, was part of that group, too.