Digital lending platform Branch launches in India to take on Tala


San Francisco-based digital micro lending platform Branch International has launched in India after it acquired a non-banking finance company licence to operate in the country.

The firm will be offering personal loans in the range of Rs 500 to 50,000. India is the company’s third market after Africa and Latin America. Branch International’s local competitor Tala is also live in India and the two seem to going head to head for the emerging markets.

Last year, Branch competitor Tala raised $65 million to power the growth of its consumer lending app in Kenya, Tanzania, and the Philippines. It also raised an undisclosed funding from PayPal and has been Branch’s archrival since its launch.

According to Matt Flannery, chief executive officer, Branch International, “I believe there is a large untapped opportunity in India’s digital lending space with its growing tech-savvy population that is strongly backed by the government’s financial transformation policies and digital drive. We hope to build a fair, secure and robust digital lending ecosystem in India through our world-class financial offerings.”

Some little background, in January this year, Branch raised Ksh500M for expansion in Kenya. The digital lender said that was its largest commercial paper issuance to date, raising Ksh500 million, following a Ksh350 million issuance in 2018 and a Ksh200 million issuance in 2017. All commercial paper issuances have been arranged locally.

In August 2018, Branch partnered Visa to offer custom financing to merchants who accept payment via Visa (Visa on mobile or Card). While in March 2018 it raised $70 million in series B from IFC, Andreessen Horowitz & CreditEase to launch savings & payments segmentsM

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In September 2017, Micro-lending app Branch raised $2m (ksh 200m) to bolster its loans to SMEs in Kenya and across the east African region. While in July 2017, the firm announced it had hit 1.5m loans in Kenya, and was eyeing Nigeria.

Branch Hits 100,000 Customers |Launches Revamped App & Expands to Tanzania

In August 2016 Branch announced it had hit 100,000+ borrowers in Kenya and launched in Tanzania just a year after it launched operations in Kenya. While in March 2016, the firm raised $9.6m Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz.

In May 2015, the firm raised $1.4Mn from Formation 8 and the Khosla Impact Fund for its initial launch in Kenya. BusinessTech