The popular financial app partners with Barium Capital for its fourth commercial paper issuance
Branch International, one of Kenya’s top digital financial services providers and Africa’s most popular financial app, is announcing full repayment of a KShs 500M commercial paper and the issuance of a fourth note of an equivalent amount. This latest funding brings the total capital raised locally by the financial services firm since its first issuance in 2017 to more than KES 1.5 billion. All commercial paper issuances have been arranged by the Centum-owned advisory firm, Barium Capital. This latest investment will be used to continue to expand Branch’s services in Kenya.
This capital supplements the KShs 17 billion raised earlier this year from top international investors, including the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, Visa, Foundation Capital, Trinity Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.
Since launching in 2015, Branch has established itself as a key player in Kenya’s digital lending space. Branch issues tens of thousands of loans per day and has disbursed more than KShs 30 billion in Kenya. According to customer surveys, over 60% of Branch loans are used for small business start-up costs and ongoing business investment. Branch is also a leading digital financial services provider in Nigeria, Tanzania, Mexico, and India.
Branch’s approach to commercial paper issuance has been largely groundbreaking. It is one of the first early-stage technology companies to successfully raise debt in the local market.
Speaking after the close of the issue, Teresia Muthoni, Barium Capital’s Managing Director, said: “Our investor base continues to be keen to be part of Branch’s growth story and we’re proud to have secured them an opportunity to do so.”
Dan Karuga, East Africa General Manager for Branch commented: “With the high rate of smartphone adoption in emerging markets, Branch is uniquely positioned to leverage its advanced use of data science to underwrite and provide credit and other financial services to more customers than ever before. As we scale our services in Kenya, we welcome regulation of our sector and looking forward to working with the Kenyan Government on this initiative.”
Unlike traditional institutions, Branch gives people an opportunity to build credit despite limited banking history. Branch leverages best-in-class data science to unlock financial access for people around the world, while keeping costs and default rates low. Its algorithms process thousands of data points to create personalized loan options in a matter of seconds. The company’s first product offering is lending, with plans to expand into savings and payment products in the future.