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BNPL Platform Affirm Expands Canadian Presence With $264 Million Deal For PayBright

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) payments startup Affirm is ramping up its presence in Canada with a $264 million deal for Toronto-based PayBright.

The San Francisco-based Affirm said its acquisition of PayBright, which is also in the installment payment business, will help expand its network of merchants in both Canada and the United States. Affirm said it will pay a combination of cash and equity to buy PayBright, with the deal expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

Max Levchin, CEO and founder of Affirm, said the merchant networks of the two firms are complementary rather than overlapping.

While Affirm touts Walmart, Peloton, Oscar de la Renta, Audi and Expedia as the crown jewels of its merchant network, PayBright’s lineup includes Hudson’s Bay, Oakley, SAIL, Steve Madden, eBay, Dynamite, SHEIN, Wayfair, Samsung and Endy.

Affirm says its customer base now numbers 6.2 million in the U.S. and Canada, with its network of merchants topping 6,500, while PayBright cites “partnerships with over 7,000 domestic and international retailers.”

The deal will enable the payments company “to expand our footprint across North America and scale our platform,” said Levchin in a press release.

Affirm also cited the value of PayBright’s “first-mover” advantage in Canada, which it says will help pave the way for further expansion in the country.

PayBright in 2017 became the first firm in Canada to offer an eCommerce installment plan, with options now ranging from four bi-weekly payments for smaller items to up to 60 months for more expensive purchases.

In addition to their business models, both firms make a similar pitch to consumers, pledging “transparent” payment terms stated upfront.

“Affirm’s network, focus on trust and transparency, and industry-leading technology make it the ideal partner for PayBright,” said Wayne Pommen, president and CEO of PayBright, in a press release. “As part of a larger, multinational organization, we can help even more merchants attract new customers and provide a greater number of consumers with more control and flexibility in their purchasing decisions.”

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