Kenyan Fintech Firm Based In Silicon Valley Raises $5M From Kenyan Investor

Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Kenyan firm Kenyan fintech firm
Branch International determines creditworthiness via phone data. AP Photo – Ariel Schalit

Fintech firm Branch International, which was founded in Kenya and raised $170 million earlier this year, has raised another $5 million to expand in Kenya.

Now based in Silicon Valley, Branch offers personal loans for as little as $2 up to around $700 via mobile in emerging markets. It uses an algorithm to determine creditworthiness from smartphone data so that users can access credit, according to Quartz.

The $5 million investment, made through Nairobi-based investment firm Barium Capital, is expected to bolster Branch’s lending operations in Kenya, according to Founder360.

Other African firms have moved their headquarters from Africa to Silicon Valley and found it improved their ability to raise money.

For example, Nigerian fintech startup Flutterwave relocated its headquarters to Silicon Valley in 2018 and raised $10 million in funding, Techcrunch reports. The firm provides transaction infrastructure for mobile payments.

Nigerian payments platform Paystack raised $8 million in Series A funding in September 2018 after setting up shop in Silicon Valley. The startup provides payments tools to businesses across Africa. Its total investment to date is $10 million.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 25: Liz Burr
Jamarlin talks to digital media guru and MIT graduate Liz Burr. They talk about business prospects for podcasting, censoring Black artists and activists online, and how using the N-word got a top exec fired at Netflix.

Branch is already profitable. Co-founder and CEO Matt Flannery expects it to reach $100 million in revenue this year with around 70 percent of that generated in Africa, according to Techcrunch.

The Kenyan fintech firm has offices in Nairobi, San Francisco, Mumbai, Mexico City, and Lagos. Branch claims to have issued its 10 millionth loan, Techmoran reports.

Branch International’s $5 million investment brings its total funding to date to $264.7 million, according to Crunchbase.

The online micro-lending startup secured a $70 million Series B in March 2018 and another $170 million in April 2019, Globenewswire reported.

The $170 million Series C funding round was led by Silicon Valley-based Foundation Capital and Visa, with participation from B Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Formation 8 and Trinity Ventures.