Max Levchin, Co-Founder of PayPal
Max Levchin is a Ukrainian-American businessman and software engineer. He is a Seed stage investor, and advisor to emerging technology companies. As of 2021 his net worth was estimated as a little over US$3 billion. Levchin is the co-founder and CEO of Affirm and co-founded the company that eventually became PayPal, where he was also the CTO.
About Max Levchin
Currently based in San Francisco, California, in the United States, Max Levchin was born in Kiev, Ukraine. He helped his mother learn to code at a young age, igniting the initial desire to become a programmer. His family moved to the United States in 1991 and settled in Chicago. In 1997, Levchin graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
In 1998, Levchin, together with Peter Thiel, founded the company Fieldlink where he served as Director and CTO. The company changed its name to Confinity, where they developed PayPal for digital transfer of funds. The company merged with X.com in 2000 and adopted the name PayPal in 2001. A few months after going public in 2002, PayPal, was acquired by eBay, with Levchin’s 2.3% stake valued at approximately US$34 million at that time. He significantly contributed to PayPal’s anti-fraud efforts; he was the co-creator of the Gausebeck-Levchin test, one of the first commercial implementations of a CAPTCHA challenge response human test.
In 2004, Levchin was the founder of Slide.com, where he served as CEO until it was sold to Google in August 2010 for US$182 million, he then served as Vice President of Engineering at Google. He was also the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Yelp from 2004-2015. Levchin started HVF in late 2011, where he was Chairman and CEO, and later founded the spin-off Affirm in early 2012. HVF also launched Glow in 2013, where Levchin is Executive Chairman.
Max Levchin has made many early investments, with a total of 100 investments, his most recent being in February 2022. He invested in Series A round of Withco, a provider of real estate and technology services to small businesses, who raised US $28 million.
Levchin has 30 exits, most notably Yelp, Yammer and Wise.
Levchin was an early investor in Yelp and in 2012 was their largest shareholder, owning more than 7 million shares.
Max Levchin in the News
In January 2022, Max Levchin published an article on LinkedIn for the first anniversary of Affirm’s IPO. He proudly talked about Affirm’s path to reaching a milestone and the initiatives moving forward, getting ready to celebrate Affirm’s first decade.
Levchin was discussed in the Observer in July 2022 and Mint, quoting The Wall Street Journal in August 2022. Both articles addressed the ‘buy now, pay later’ concept, and the impact of the recession. Levchin responded positively, promoting the sustained growth of the BNPL sector, as consumers aim to ease the burden of expensive purchases.