Tuesday, March 26, 2019 UTC

AGF Magazine - March 2019 issue

  • We focus on fixed income opportunities in both public and private markets. Read on to find in which fixed income instruments and in which African markets to invest on pp. 10-11. In addition, Ashley Benatar of Ashburton Investments shares his views on benefits and risks of investing in mezzanine debt on p.22.
  • We speak with Jérémie Ceyrac, Head of Equity, Responsible Investments at Proparco to learn more about the French development institution, financial products on offer, recent investments in Africa and African impact investment scene (pp. 13-15).
  • This month’s market feature focuses on Nigeria. Sven Richter, Fund Manager, Drakens Capital, writes about his recent trip to the West African country and his observations. “While Nigeria is attractive as an investment destination, the GDP growth is a disappointment for a county that we expect to be one of the leaders in Africa,” he says (pp. 16-17).
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News > Private Equity > Deals

Trinity Ventures leads Series B investment in mobile-first branchless bank

Staff writer
April 8, 2018, 4:59 p.m.

Word count: 348

Trinity Ventures has led a $70m Series B investment round, which combines debt and equity, in Branch International, a mobile ‘branchless bank’ for Emerging Markets.

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Trinity Ventures has led a $70m Series B investment round, which combines debt and equity, in Branch International, a mobile ‘branchless bank’ for Emerging Markets.

Other investors include Victory Park, the IFC, Andreessen Horowitz and CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund.

Trinity Ventures General Partner Schwark Satyavolu, who spearheaded the investment for the firm, will join the Branch board of directors. 

“In America, financial services are well-established, and the smartphone market is mature. By contrast, millions of consumers in emerging markets lack access to basic financial offerings like credit. Meanwhile, smartphone adoption in those countries is accelerating at break-neck speed,” said Satyavolu. 

“Because of the confluence of these two megatrends – the tremendous gap in financial service offerings and the rapid rise of the platform able to deliver them – and because of the team’s incredible bench of talent, I’m excited to invest in Branch and am bullish on its future,” he added.

The series B investment brings Branch’s total investment to $80m in the three years since it was founded.

Branch is a for-profit socially conscious financial technology company with offices in Nairobi, Lagos and San Francisco. 

It uses data science to dramatically reduce the cost of delivering financial services in Emerging Markets.

With over a million unique borrowers, Branch is already the top finance app in Africa. 

Branch already processes tens of thousands of loans every day in amounts ranging from $2.50 to $500. 

The company is growing 20% month-over-month and expects to disburse over $250m in 2018.

Today, Branch offers credit but has plans to diversify into savings and payments in the future.

“IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has been one of the leading global investors in microfinance for over 20 years. We’re excited about the potential of technology to transform the sector,” said Paulo de Bolle, IFC’s Global Director of the Financial Institutions Group and a member of the Fintech Investment Committee. 

“Through its innovative and accessible use of mobile technology, Branch will deliver financial services to millions of underserved customers in Africa and other emerging markets.”

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