It was recently announced that Branch, a platform that enables businesses to link users across multiple channels and systems, is raising $300 million at a $4 billion valuation.
This move aims to provide new capabilities and expand its reach to allow businesses to break through walled gardens and unlock the value of leveraging instacart, tiktok, etc.
The Series D funding will help Branch to expand its platform, accelerate product development, and make key hires.
Branch Raises $300 Million at $4 Billion Valuation to Crack Open Walled Gardens
Branch is a mobile and web-based customer engagement platform that offers features such as deep link generation, deep linking for mobile app marketing, and analytics for customer segmentation and user behaviour. Founded in 2011 by CEO Alex Austin, Branch has raised $303M from investors such as Sequoia Capital, DFJ, Greylock Partners and Goldman Sachs.
With its latest round of funding, Branch will build on its current offerings to power better customer experiences across all walled gardens across the web and mobile. This means creating meaningful connections between channels (mobile apps to web pages) allowing customers to engage across devices without breaking the experience. With access to these new technologies, marketers can create more powerful campaigns on various digital platforms to boost engagement and drive growth for their business.
Overview of the Funding Round
On February 16, 2021, Branch International announced that it had raised $300 million in a funding round at a reported $4 billion post-money valuation. The new funds will be used to fund their mission of empowering people worldwide by providing access to banking and financial services and capital to unlock potential for people previously excluded from the traditional financial system. The company is already recognized as a leader in mobile banking and has more than 3 million users on its platform, including customers in Mexico, Nigeria, India and Kenya.
The funding was led by Coatue Management and was joined by Altimeter Capital and Visa International. Existing investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Emergence Capital Partners and Trinity Ventures also participated in the round. Notable new investors include Norwest Venture Partners, Target Global, Point72 Ventures and Stripe Valor Investment Group. This investment further validates Branch’s mission of cracking open walled gardens in developing countries with their digital banking products and shows that Industry leaders recognize their immense growth potential.
Branch plans on using the new funding to accelerate product offerings spanning across three categories: Credit-as-a-Service (powered by their lending operations), Open Platform partnerships (to partner with tech giants such as Google) and Localised Product Expansion into newly identified markets (including Brazil).
Branch’s Strategy for Growth
Branch, an app-linking platform, is raising $300 million at a $4 billion valuation to further its mission of breaking down ‘walled gardens’ and enabling seamless customer experiences.
This new capital will enable Branch to continue their growth trajectory and bring their vision of a more connected world to life.
In this article, we’ll explore how Branch plans to use this new influx of capital to move its mission forward.
Breaking Down Digital Walled Gardens
Branch is leveraging its new $300 million raise at a $4 billion valuation to crack open digital walled gardens. Digital walled gardens are the exclusive ecosystems of platforms and services owned by tech giants like Google and Apple, which limit access and control user data.
Branch’s strategy for tackling these digital walled gardens starts with creating deep links that tie content across different apps and digital properties together, enabling users to move seamlessly between them. With this approach, Branch does not rely on the same restrictive rules that govern the closed systems it seeks to unlock. As Branch CEO Alex Austin explains, “We just don’t think exclusivity is going to be the way of the future… We have an opportunity here to create a more open connected web than today.”
To enable this broader connectivity, Branch aims to remove artificial walls between users and their content so that marketers can deliver better user experiences across all platforms. In addition, by investing in its platform to develop customer relationships through powerful data insights, Branch aims to provide an alternative or supplement for its clients restricted by marketing opportunities inside existing tech giants’ products. For example, instead of being limited by Google Ads for advertisements or Facebook campaigns for lead gen, Branch provides unique customer insights across all customer touchpoints that can help marketers craft smarter marketing strategies independent from a specific platform.
By leveraging its $300 million round at a massive $4 billion valuation, Branch will be able to continue powering accessible conversations between customers and brands without relying on exclusive access into certain tech giant ecosystems while also branching out into emerging channels such as gaming apps & OTT streaming platforms offering exciting new opportunities for marketers around the world.
Leveraging the Power of the Open Web
Branch is leveraging the power of the open web to create a new, more empowered model for app growth and engagement. By providing a platform that works across different platforms and repositories, Branch seeks to give developers the tools they need to reach users in new and creative ways. With this round of funding, Branch plans to expand its capabilities further from app marketing into analytics and deep linking, as well as build new integrations with platforms like Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore.
These manoeuvres aim to break open siloed walled gardens like Google Play & Apple AppStore that often limit access to users through their monopolistic distribution tactics. Branch’s vision is to empower developers and increase product usage across multiple stores, ultimately creating a better online experience for everyone.
Lightspeed Venture Partners and Goldman Sachs are other investors participating in this latest round. These funds will be used specifically for research & development, product expansion and marketing activities as Branch continues its mission of connecting brands with their consumers worldwide.
Utilising AI and Machine Learning
Branch, the mobile-first deep linking platform, has announced its plans to raise $300 million at a $4 billion valuation to accelerate its growth strategy by utilising AI and machine learning.
As part of this effort, Branch aims to break down the walled gardens of competing apps to provide users with better engagement and deeper insight into their behaviours. With this round of funding, Branch will invest in further developing its deep-linking technology to provide users with direct access from one app to another — for example, allowing a user who is surfing the web on their mobile device the ability to seamlessly transition from a website or an app into another destination within a single click.
Moreover, Branch’s AI and machine learning capabilities will enable them to develop better insights into users’ interests, resulting in more accurate targeting and personalization. As part of their growth strategy, Branch is also looking at building out additional automated marketing tools to help app developers introduce higher quality messaging experiences tailored specifically for each user experience.
Branch’s Impact on the Industry
Branch is an app platform that enables businesses to offer deep linking and contextual marketing capabilities, allowing users to move seamlessly between devices. With its recent $300 million round of funding at a $4 billion valuation, Branch aims to make it simpler for companies to integrate its technology into their marketing campaigns and services. By doing so, the company hopes to reduce the friction associated with moving from one app or digital experience to another; opening up what had been walled gardens for deeper consumer engagements.
Branch’s platform is designed to increase connectivity between companies and consumers; creating a more seamless experience for customers across apps and web content. Additionally, Branch capitalises on the growing trend of personalization in digital content by providing businesses with tools that enable them to find users who are already interested in their products or services through lookalike audiences. By allowing companies access to this data, they can create more targeted campaigns while preventing consumer churns by providing personalised content tailored to their needs.
By raising additional capital at a valuation exceeding $4 billion, Branch has positioned itself as an industry leader in linking users across platforms on an individual level while also enabling companies access contextual marketing insights that were previously inaccessible. This round of funding will help Branch expand its operations globally and develop innovative solutions to build even larger walls against competition in the expanding app ecosystem market.