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Branch International partners Foundation Capital, Visa to raise $170m financing

Branch International in collaboration with Foundation Capital and Visa, has announced a new global partnership and investment from Visa (NYSE: V) to raise $170 million series C financing for people unreached by banks.

[FILE] Head of Marketing, Branch International, Erin Renzas (left); Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Matt Flannery and Country Manager, Nigeria, Maria K. Rotilu, at the firm’s stakeholder meeting, held in Lagos, at the weekend.

Branch International in collaboration with Foundation Capital and Visa, has announced a new global partnership and investment from Visa (NYSE: V) to raise $170 million series C financing for people unreached by banks.

The two firms share a vision of helping people not reached by banks to access finances for their businesses. Visa’s investment in Branch will help expand financial access across the African continent, while fuelling new expansions in India and Latin America.

Branch and Visa will team up to offer virtual prepaid debit card numbers to customers around the world to enable unbanked Branch customers receive credit at any Automated Teller Machine (ATM), bypassing the need for a bank account.

Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Branch, Matthew Flannery, said: “We started Branch in Kenya, where M-Pesa gives anyone with a phone- including the unbanked-access to digital credit.

“Unfortunately, mobile money isn’t available in most countries. With the help of Visa, we can now send cash to any ATM and reach the underserved around the globe.” He explained that traditional barriers such as a credit score and bank account make financial accessibility a challenge for over 2 billion people globally, adding that many in underserved markets have a financial tool in their mobile phones.

By tapping into mobile technology worldwide, Branch aims to radically expand financial access, making full global inclusion a reality in our lifetime. Executive Vice President of Strategy at Visa, Bill Sheedy said: “At Visa, we believe financial empowerment is an essential passport out of poverty. Our partnership with Branch provides Visa a key distribution mechanism to reach people that were previously out of reach and help shape the future of microfinance.”

Branch is also announcing the close of its Series C financing, a $170 million round led by Foundation Capital and Visa today. Existing investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Trinity Ventures, Formation 8, the IFC, Credit Ease and Victory Park, as well as new investors, Green spring, Foxhaven and B Capital, are joining the investment.

Speaking, Charles Moldow of Foundation Capital, who will be joining Branch’s Board of Directors said: “I’ve known the Branch team since the company was founded. After tracking them for years, it has become clear to me that emerging markets are one of the biggest growth areas for fintech. “Our history of successful fintech investments is evidence that we know how to spot true innovators like Branch. The team has executed incredibly well and is poised to become the cross-border financial super-app.”

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