SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Plugged, the most downloaded financial app in Africa, announced a new global partnership and investment from Visa (NYSE: V). Both companies share a vision of bringing financial access to billions of people still unserved by banks. Visa’s investment in Branch will help expand financial access across the African continent, while fueling further expansion in India and Latin America.
Branch and Visa will partner to offer virtual prepaid debit card numbers to customers worldwide. This allows unbanked branch customers to receive credit at any physical ATM, without the need for a bank account.
“We launched Branch in Kenya, where M-Pesa gives anyone with a phone, including the unbanked, access to digital credit. Unfortunately, mobile money is not available in most countries. With the help of Visa, we can now send money to any ATM and reach the underserved around the world,” said Matthew Flannery, CEO and co-founder of Branch.
Traditional hurdles like a credit score and bank account make affordability a challenge for over 2 billion people around the world. Yet many underserved markets have a financial tool in their pocket: their mobile phone. By harnessing the rise of mobile technology around the world, Branch aims to radically expand financial access, making total global inclusion a reality in our lifetime.
“At Visa, we believe that financial empowerment is an essential passport out of poverty,” noted Bill Sheedy, Executive Vice President of Strategy at Visa. “Our partnership with Branch provides Visa with a key distribution mechanism to reach people who were previously out of reach and help shape the future of microfinance.
Today, Branch is also announcing the closing of its Series C financing, a $170 million round led by Foundation Capital and Visa. And joining this investment round are existing investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Trinity Ventures, Formation 8, IFC, CreditEase and Victory Park as well as new investors, Greenspring, Foxhaven and B Capital.
“I have known the Branche team since the creation of the company,” noted Charles Moldow of Foundation Capital, who will join the subsidiary’s Board of Directors. “After following them for years, it became clear to me that emerging markets are one of the biggest growth areas for fintech. Our history of successful fintech investments is proof that we know how to spot true innovators, like Branch. The team has done incredibly well and is well on its way to becoming the cross-border financial super app.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL BRANCH:
Founded in 2015, Branch provides world-class financial services to the mobile generation. With offices in San Francisco, Lagos, Mexico City, Mumbai and Nairobi, Branch is a global, socially responsible company that uses the power of data science and mobile technology to reduce barriers to financial service delivery in the markets. emerging. With over 3 million customers and 13 million loans processed, Branch International has disbursed over $350 million. In addition to credit, Branch intends to roll out high-yield savings accounts for customers this year. Learn more about https://branch.co/