Fast, a one-click fast checkout platform, is discontinued today. In conjunction with that decision, Fast is giving a “vast majority” of its engineers the chance to join Affirm, a public fintech company in the buy now, pay later space, Affirm said.
According to an email from MovieUpdates and first obtained by Business Insider, Fast CEO Domm Holland said his company’s shutdown was the result of a lack of funding to continue the business. He also noted that the current environment is “extremely challenging for high-growth technology companies”.
“With Fast Outfitting, our agreement will enable the vast majority of our engineers to transition into positions at Affirm. I am grateful to Affirm for their work moving many of our engineers into great roles quickly,” Holland continued in the email, noting that Affirm has approximately $3 billion in cash on its balance sheet. Holland did not clarify how many engineers would have the opportunity to join Affirm, and whether this was decided by seniority, team or geographic location.
While acqu-hiring is a common way for a startup that needs a soft landing to get an exit, this move appears to be different. One person familiar with the way alleges that Fast was in talks with Affirm leadership regarding this agreement, apart from its conclusion, which involves the removal of all services and the existence of the brand. In other words, Affirm seems to want Fast’s talent, but not a sniff of its product.
Affirm, which went public in 2020, recently raised its financial outlook for the third quarter with lower operating expenses and higher revenue expectations. In an email to MovieUpdates, an Affirm spokesperson noted that the company has long invested in tech talent, completing three strategic talent acquisitions in the past year.
“With Fast shutting down its operations and phasing out its brand and products, we saw another opportunity to invite a great technology team to join us,” the statement read. “While we have no plans for a one-click checkout, we look forward to welcoming many of Fast’s talented engineers to Affirm as we continue to improve our existing product roadmap to support our mission to build fair financial products who lives.”
Fast declined to say how long the talks have been going on and how many Fast employees will be offered a job.
When it comes to vision, the overlap between Fast and Affirm is not that hard to gather. Fast launched with a vision to make it easier for consumers to checkout on e-commerce websites, while Affirm was launched to help consumers pay for online purchases in the first place. Both companies built cross-platform services that support the optimization of the consumer buying journey; though it was clear that one’s fate was better determined than the others’.
Affirm’s active merchants have grown to 168,000, up 2,030% from the previous year, and its partners cover more than 60% of U.S. e-commerce, including Walmart, Amazon, Target, Peloton, and tons of Shopify. It also has more than 11 million active consumers, up 150% year over year.
Current and former Fast employees can contact Natasha Mascarenhas via email at natasha.m@MovieUpdates or on Signal, a secure encrypted messaging app, at 925 609 4188. You can also message her directly on Twitter @nmasc_.