Visa makes a huge fintech bet with $5.3bn acquisition of Plaid

Visa is to acquire US payments giant Plaid for $5.3bn, a software startup that is used by the likes of Venmo, Robinhood and Coinbase. Plaid, which helps companies connect to users’ bank accounts, was last valued at $2.65bn in a funding round in 2018. Visa and Mastercard were early investors in the tech company, which launched in the UK last year.

Chief executive Zach Perret said joining the Visa brand “represents an incredible opportunity to continue to scale our products. We’ll be able to lean on their brand, resources, and international footprint to benefit our customers, our partners, and the markets we serve.”

Since launching in 2013, Plaid has grown to hold connections with over 10,000 banks and reach more than 20m consumer bank accounts. It said last month that around 25 per cent of US bank accounts have been connected to companies using its software through an app.

Goldman Sachs, another early investor, was an exclusive adviser on the deal, according to CNBC.

Other backers included Silicon Valley stalwarts Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins, and the venture capital arms of Citi Group and American Express.

“We are extremely excited about our acquisition of Plaid and how it enhances the growth trajectory of our business,” Visa chairman and chief executive Al Kelly said in a statement.

“Plaid is a leader in the fast growing fintech world with best-in-class capabilities and talent. The acquisition, combined with our many fintech efforts already underway, will position Visa to deliver even more value for developers, financial institutions and consumers.”