Visa to buy fintech startup Plaid in US$5.3b deal

Andrew Cummings
January 15, 2020

Visa Inc said on Monday it agreed to buy privately held software startup Plaid Inc in a $5.3 billion deal that will boost the payments giant's access to the booming financial technology space.

The $5.3 billion price given in Monday's statement is double what Plaid was reportedly valued at during its last fundraising, when it took a $250 million Series C round that was announced in December 2018.

Founded in 2013, its technology lets people link their bank accounts to mobile apps like Venmo.

The takeover of the fintech darling will give Visa a great opportunity to "accelerate" the company's business beyond cards, according to its CEO Al Kelly.

The San Francisco company was already an investor in Plaid, and so is Visa's biggest competitor, Mastercard.

Plaid will continue to operate as an independent company after the deal closes.

You can compare what Plaid does to Stripe - but instead of facilitating payments, Plaid helps developers share banking and other financial information more easily.

The company is also looking to expand beyond USA borders, tapping in to the enthusiasm for Open Banking across Europe and other markets internationally. the company is opening a United Kingdom office to support European expansion and is initially supporting integrations with eight of the UK's biggest banks and neobanks, giving British fintech businesses instant access to 70% of personal current accounts in the country.

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