The Crunchbase News Briefing: Fri., Sept. 18

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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Affirm raises $500M; introduces biweekly payment option

Credit card alternative company Affirm, started by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, announced a $500 million Series G round of funding led by existing investors GIC and Durable Capital Partners, bringing the fintech company’s raise from investors to more than $1.3 billion.

Other existing investors involved in the round included Lightspeed Venture Partners, Wellington Management Company, Baillie Gifford, Spark Capital, Founders Fund and Fidelity Management and Research Company.

In addition to the funding news, Affirm said it is introducing an interest-free biweekly payment product for transactions as low as $50.

In July, The Wall Street Journal reported that Affirm was preparing for a possible initial public offering that could value the company at $10 billion.

New $485M round values Chime at $14.5B

CNBC reported that Chime, the San Francisco-based company offering a mobile phone app to help members avoid bank fees and save money automatically, announced a $485 million Series F funding round that more than doubles the company’s valuation from December. [Read more]

Unity prices IPO at $13.7B valuation

Video game software developer Unity priced shares for its IPO at $52 each, above the projected range, setting an initial valuation of $13.7 billion.

The final share price is far higher than Unity’s initial and amended price ranges. In a filing earlier this month, the company set a price range of $34 to $42 per share. In an amended filing it raised the range to between  $44 and $48.

The offering is one of several hot tech deals to make it to market this week while the IPO window remains wide open. Its pricing follows an even larger market debut from data warehousing company Snowflake as well as a smaller one from cloud software provider Sumo Logic.

San Francisco-based Unity reported $351.3 million in revenue for the first six months of 2020, up from $252.8 million during the first half of 2019. Its net losses also shrunk from $67 million in the first half of 2019 to $54 million in the first half of 2020.

Unity previously raised at least $1.3 billion in funding from investors including Sequoia Capital and Altimeter Capital. It last raised money with its $125 million Series E in May 2019, per Crunchbase.

Funding rounds

Outschool, an online marketplace of live, interactive classes, announced a $45 million Series B round to accelerate hiring and product development for its K-12 education marketplace. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round with participation from Reach Capital, Union Square Ventures, SV Angel, FundersClub and Y Combinator.

Other news

  • TikTok and WeChat face US ban: The U.S. Commerce Department announced this morning that it is enacting prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile apps TikTok and WeChat in what it described as a move to safeguard national security interests.
  • NS8 founder charged with fraud: Adam Rogas, the co-founder of fraud prevention startup NS8 who abruptly resigned as CEO earlier this month, is facing fraud charges after he was arrested Thursday by the FBI in Las Vegas. Per Forbes, Rogas is accused of misleading investors who poured $123 million into his company earlier this year.



Illustration: Dom Guzman

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