Silicon Valley-based mobile lending company, Branch International, recently teamed up with Visa. Following this, the fintech startup was able to successfully raise $170 million in Series C financing. Apart from Visa, Forbes notes that the business was also able to raise funding with the help of Andreessen Horowitz, B Capital, Foundation Capital, Formation 8, and Trinity Ventures.
Fintech Startup, Branch International
Having started operations in 2015 in Kenya, the now California-based financial technology startup focuses its efforts into providing loans to more than 3 million customers in Africa, India, and Mexico. Specifically, Financial Times states that the company specializes in offering loans to first-time borrowers and customers who currently hold no bank accounts of their own.
However, Forbes notes that the fintech company is working to expand its offerings to borrowers hailing from the middle class and middle-income families. In particular, they are still looking to provide loan access to individuals who might not have a credit history.
To further their advocacy, Branch International makes use of a mobile money payment system and products, taking inspiration from Safaricom’s M-Pesa, notes Tech Crunch. After interested users download the app, they are asked to verify their identity. Following this, Forbes reports that the algorithms employed by Branch International determine the user’s credit score and worthiness, with the ability to provide loans and approvals within minutes.
Data is gathered from the users by accessing personal information stored in customers’ mobile devices. These include their contacts, GPS location, call logs, text messages, and other similar data. Once approved, users can take out a typical amount of $50, reports Forbes.
Partnership with Visa
The fintech company’s partnership with Visa means that it will be able to expand its reach. Through this joint venture, FinExtra states that customers will now have instant cash access to their credit via ATM.