Smart Humans: Affirm's Max Levchin

"The primary alternative investment strategy I have is as an entrepreneur." - Max Levchin


  • Max Levchin started angel investing after the success of PayPal and has invested in various startups.
  • He is not a huge believer in cryptocurrency as a spending or purchasing device, but sees the value in Bitcoin as a store of value.
  • Levchin believes that private credit is an important asset class and sees the demand for short-term, high-yield consumer loans. 
  • He views the US economy as solid, with employment being a key metric, and believes that the impact of political decisions is often delayed. 
  • Affirm is an alternative credit provider that offers simple and transparent financing options at the point of sale. Affirm is a versatile lending product that provides access to credit for a wide range of purchases.


Max Levchin is the founder and CEO of Affirm, the payment network that empowers consumers and helps merchants drive growth. He is also the co-founder and Chairman of Glow, a data-driven fertility company. Both companies were created and launched from his San Francisco based innovation lab, HVF (Hard, Valuable, Fun). Max was one of the original co-founders of PayPal where he served as the Chief Technology Officer until its acquisition by eBay in 2002. In 2002, he was named to the Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world as well as Innovator of the Year.

Prior to HVF, Max founded and was CEO of Slide, a personal media-sharing service, which was acquired by Google in 2010. Max also helped create Yelp Inc., a consumer internet company, where he served as Chairman of its Board of Directors from its founding in 2005 until July 2015. He served on the board for Yahoo! Inc., an internet company, from 2012 until 2015.

Max was born in Kyiv, Ukraine before moving to the United States and settling in Chicago in 1991. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he founded and led four other technology startups. Max is a serial entrepreneur, computer scientist, philanthropist and active investor in more than 100 startups.

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