Fast, a one-click speedy checkout platform, is shutting down 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, according to Affirm.
Per an email seen by TechCrunch and first obtained by Business Insider, Fast CEO Domm Holland said that his company’s shut down was a result of a lack of financial resources to continue operating the business. He also noted that the current environment has been “extremely challenging for high-growth tech companies.”
“With Fast winding down, our agreement will enable the vast majority of our engineers to transition to roles at Affirm. I’m grateful to Affirm for their work to place many of our engineers in great roles quickly,” Holland continued in the e-mail, noting that Affirm has roughly $3 billion in cash on its balance sheet. Holland didn’t make clear how many engineers would be given the chance to join Affirm, and if it was decided by seniority, team or geographic location.
While acqu-hiring is a common way for a startup in need of a soft landing to get an exit, this move appears to be different. A person familiar with the manner alleges that Fast was in talks with Affirm leadership on this agreement separate from its shut down, which will include the removal of all services and the brand’s existence. In other words, Affirm seems to want Fast’s talent, but not a whiff of its product.
Affirm, which went public in 2020, recently raised its third-quarter financial outlook with slimmer operating expenses and higher revenue expectations. In an email sent to TechCrunch, an Affirm spokesperson noted that the company has long invested in engineering talent, and over the last year has completed three strategic talent acquisitions.
“With Fast winding down its operations and discontinuing its brand and products, we saw another opportunity to invite a great technology team to join us,” the statement read. “While we do not have plans to get into 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 in support of our mission to build honest financial products that improve lives.”
Fast declined to answer how long the talks have been going on, and how many Fast employees will be receiving a job offer.
When it comes to vision, the overlap between Fast and Affirm isn’t too hard to garner. Fast launched with a vision to make it easier for consumers to check out on e-commerce websites, while Affirm launched to help consumers afford those online purchases in the first place. Both companies built platform-agnostic services that support the optimization of consumers’ purchasing journeys; although clearly, one’s fate was better established than the others.
Affirm’s active merchants have grown to 168,000, up 2,030% from the prior year, and its partners cover more than 60% of U.S. e-commerce, including Walmart, Amazon, Target, Peloton and tons from Shopify. It also boasts more than 11 million active consumers, up 150% year over year.