Briefing

Installment-payment service Affirm to buy Toronto-based PayBright for $340 million

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The two firms expect the cash and stock transaction to close in the first quarter of 2021. Affirm declined to comment on whether it would maintain PayBright as a separate brand, or keep its engineering and other staff in Canada. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Retailers are increasingly offering shoppers buy now, pay later options on smaller orders than the layaway plans of past decades. Providers of the service say it raises bill sizes and conversion rates; they charge stores a commission and consumers late fees, but no interest. The deal expands Affirm’s Canadian consumer base as it prepares to go public on the Nasdaq. Its current presence in the country, its only international market, is negligible. Canadian revenues were US$3.32 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, just 0.65 per cent of the US$509.5-million total, per its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. PayBright, which raised $60 million last year from the big bank-backed Canadian Business Growth Fund, as well as Goeasy and iA Financial Group, had more than $10 million in revenue and 140 employees last year.