Chime Could Reach $30 Billion Valuation With Stock Market Flotation

Mobile banking upstart Chime has completed funding that has provided the firm with a $14.5 billion valuation

Chime is holding early talks with investment banks on a new stock market flotation, which could value the startup at over $30 billion, Reuters reported.

That might happen before the end of the year, according Reuters, which cited anonymous sources.

Chime CEO Chris Britt said in September that the company would be ready within a year for an initial public offering (IPO), Reuters reported. 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.

Britt this month said the company is past the point of needing to raise capital, although he didn’t specifically say there would be an IPO yet, according to Reuters. He said the company has “every intention of being a large, independent public company,” although he didn’t set any timelines for developments to happen.

Chime launched in 2012 and quickly became popular as a FinTech platform. For a short time, it overtook Robinhood as the most highly valued U.S. unicorn, which is a company valued at $1 billion or more, Reuters reported.

Right now, there are preparations underway for the company to capitalize on the surge in online and mobile banking that came amid the pandemic, with people staying inside more and turning to contactless digital methods in order to avoid contracting the coronavirus.

Britt said in November that he thinks the surge in mobile banking would likely be here to stay, explaining there is “an increasing willingness to provide and manage your finances through a mobile app.”

“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,” he said.

He added that a plus for some Chime customers is the lack of charge fees for accounts, as well as the company policy of allowing customers to overdraw without incurring a fee and letting paychecks be accessed fast.