Chime in talks for IPO giving it a valuation of $30bn

Financial services firm Chime is in early talks with investment banks on a new stock market flotation which could potentially value the startup at $30bn, Reuters reported.

The listing might happen before the end of the year, said Reuters citing unknown sources.

The company’s CEO, Chris Britt had said in September that the company might look at going public within 12 months. He said the company would “evaluate all of the potential paths to do so, including direct listings, traditional [IPOs] and SPACs,” whenever the decision came close.

While he didn’t set any timelines for any IPO developments, Britt this month said the company is past the point of needing to raise capital and has “every intention of being a large, independent public company.”

Founded in 2012, by former Visa executive Britt and Comcast Corp alumnus Ryan King, Chime offers a user-friendly banking app, which provides an accompanying debit card – on which the business earns interchange revenue – and auto-savings account, all without a fee.

According to Britt the surge in mobile banking would likely be here to stay as there is “an increasing willingness to provide and manage your finances through a mobile app.”

He added, “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, managing their accounts through apps.

“Particularly for the younger generation, the notion of going in to fill out forms to get basic financial services is really becoming a relic of the past.”

As more people turn to contactless digital methods, the firm capitalised on the rise in digital banking in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and hit a $14.5bn valuation in September after its $485m Series F funding round. For a short time, it overtook Robinhood as the most highly valued US unicorn.

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