Fast, a one-click quick payment platform, is shutting down today. In conjunction with this decision, Affirm says Fast is giving a “large majority” of its engineers the opportunity to join Affirm, a publicly traded fintech company in the “Buy Now, Pay Later” space.
In an email seen by TechCrunch and first obtained by Business Insider, Fast CEO Domm Holland said his company’s closure was due to a lack of financial resources to continue the business. He also noted that the current environment is “extremely challenging for high-growth technology companies.”
“With the rapid turnaround, our agreement will allow the vast majority of our engineers to transition into positions at Affirm. I am grateful to Affirm for their work in getting many of our engineers into great positions quickly,” Holland continued in the email, noting that Affirm has approximately $3 billion in cash on its balance sheet. Holland did not make it clear how many engineers would be given the chance to join Affirm, and whether it would be decided based on seniority, team, or geographic location.
While acqu-hiring is a common path for a startup that needs a soft landing to get an exit, this move seems different. A person familiar with the manner claims that Fast has been in discussions with Affirm leadership about that deal separate from its closure, which will include the removal of all services and the existence of the brand. In other words, Affirm seems to want Fast’s talent but not a whiff of his product.
Affirm, which went public in 2020, recently upgraded its third-quarter financial outlook with lower operating expenses and higher revenue expectations. In an email sent to TechCrunch, a spokesperson for Affirm noted that the company has a long history of investing in technical talent, completing three strategic talent acquisitions in the last year.
“As Fast has ceased operations and discontinued its brand and products, we saw another opportunity to invite a great technology team to join us,” the statement said. “While we have no plans to enter the one-click checkout business, we look forward to welcoming many of Fast’s talented engineers to Affirm as we continue to advance our existing product roadmap to support our mission, to create honest financial products that improve lives.”
Fast did not want to answer how long the talks would last and how many Fast employees would receive a job offer.
When it comes to seeing, the overlap between Fast and Affirm isn’t too difficult to achieve. Fast was launched with a vision to make it easier for consumers to check out e-commerce sites, while Affirm was launched to help consumers afford those online purchases in the first place. Both companies have developed platform-agnostic services that help optimize consumer purchase journeys; although the fate of one was clearly better determined than that of the other.
Affirm’s active merchants have grown to 168,000, up 2,030% year over year, and its partners cover more than 60% of U.S. e-commerce, including Walmart, Amazon, Target, Peloton, and tons of Shopify. It also boasts more than 11 million active consumers, which is a 150% year-over-year increase.