by Stephen Garner

Affirm Holdings has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Returnly, a leader in online return experiences and post-purchase payments. Under the terms of the agreement, Affirm will acquire Returnly for total cash and equity consideration of approximately $300 million.

Returnly serves more than 1,800 merchants, has helped process more than $1 billion in returns, and has been used by over eight million shoppers. With Returnly, eligible consumers receive an instant merchant credit upon initiating a return, allowing them to order a new or replacement item immediately versus waiting until their return is fully processed. Returnly takes the product return risk and settles orders in real-time, making returns and exchanges seamless and helping merchants drive higher return-to-repurchase rates, increased revenue from returns, and higher customer satisfaction.

“Over the last few years, alongside the rapid growth of online shopping, consumers’ expectations of accommodations for returns and exchanges have increased significantly,” said Max Levchin, founder and CEO of Affirm. “In 2019, Affirm invested in Returnly because we recognized their technology’s ability to help merchants remove friction from returns, drive loyalty, and retain more customers. Store credit, issued before the item is actually returned, is now a practical requirement in highly competitive segments like fashion and lifestyle. We are excited to bring Returnly’s powerful product to our merchants, and we are thrilled to introduce their more than eight million users to the transparent, gotcha-free version of buy-now-pay-later as made possible only by Affirm.”

Affirm’s acquisition comes as returns continue to be a source of increased costs and complexities for merchants. U.S. consumers returned an estimated $428 billion in merchandise to retailers in 2020. Online returns, which often occur at triple the rate of brick and mortar retail, more than doubled in 2020 from 2019.

“We started Returnly to fix the broken returns model that offered consumers and merchants nothing but downside and frustration,” added Eduardo Vilar, founder and CEO of Returnly. “As returns continue to challenge and inhibit commerce, we believe that now is the right time to join forces with Affirm and expand the reach of our mission. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers and help more businesses offer the instant and easy returns experience that their shoppers have come to expect.”

The transaction is expected to close in Affirm’s fourth fiscal quarter ending June 30, 2021, and is subject to customary closing conditions. The acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on Affirm’s second-half 2021 fiscal year results of operations.