News: Exclusive: Chime prepares stock market listing as online banking grows – sources.
(Reuters) – Chime has had preliminary talks with investment banks about launching an IPO that could value the financial services startup at more than $ 30 billion by the end of 2021, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Since its inception in 2012, Chime has grown to be one of the fastest growing financial technology platforms in the United States. Last year it briefly overtook the online brokerage Robinhood Markets as the most valuable US fintech unicorn.
Chime’s San Francisco-based executive director Chris Britt said in September that he wants to be ready for an IPO in the next 12 months.
Preparations have now begun to capitalize on a boom that saw more people banking online during the COVID-19 pandemic, the sources said Tuesday.
Chime, valued at $ 14.5 billion in a private donation round in September, has raised over $ 1.5 billion in capital and has more than $ 1 billion in cash.
Britt said in an interview earlier this month that there is no need to raise additional capital anytime soon. He declined to comment on IPO plans but said Chime is reviewing all options.
“As we get closer to the decision to actually go public, we will evaluate all potential avenues to do so, including direct listings, traditional (IPOs) and SPACs.”
A Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) is a blank check company seeking to partner with a privately held company in a type of business that has become widespread over the past year.
Britt added that Chime “has every intention to be a large, independent public company” but has not set a timetable.
A Chime spokeswoman declined to comment on talks with banks.
Founded by former Visa executive Britt and Comcast Corp alumnus Ryan King, Chime makes money by earning a fee from payment processors like Visa every time a customer uses a Chime debit card. It has also launched a credit card.
It provides financial services through partnerships with brick-and-mortar banks, mainly through a toll-free Chime branded checking account and a Spot Me feature that allows customers to be overdrafted without penalty.
Chime has partnerships with banks like Bancorp Bank and Stride Bank that route deposits to customer accounts, and Britt said the company benefited from increased consumer confidence in the use of digital platforms during the pandemic.
The company spokeswoman declined to disclose the number of Chime users, but said the average person spent 33% more on Chime in the past year than in 2019.
“People don’t really want to touch ATMs anymore. People don’t want to handle cash as much as they used to. And people are getting more and more comfortable with paying for things through apps and managing their accounts through apps, ”said Britt.
Chime has also attracted clients by offering Americans early access to their stimulus checks, what Britt called an “obsession” with helping clients during a troubled time.
Over the past three business cycles, Chime has forwarded over $ 6 billion in stimulus funds, including $ 3.5 billion to more than 1 million customers in the previous cycle, the spokeswoman said.
Reporting by Anirban Sen in Bengaluru and David French in New York; Adaptation by Alexander Smith
Original Source © Reuters