Mobile lender Branch International has announced its fourth commercial paper issuance from Centum-owned advisory firm, Barium Capital, raising Ksh500 million. Branch has also announced full repayment of its third funding of an equivalent amount it had received from Barium capital.
This commercial approach by Branch makes it one of the first early-stage technology companies to successfully raise debt in the local market.
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 following a Ksh350 million issuance in 2018 and a Ksh200 million issuance in 2017. This capital supplements the KSh 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.
Branch says this latest investment will be used to continue to expand its services in Kenya.
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 said “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.”
The firm was launched in 2015 and since then it has disbursed more than KSh 30 billion in Kenya. Branch is also a leading digital financial services provider in Nigeria, Tanzania, Mexico, and India.
Branch has also announced plans to expand into savings and payment products in the future.