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Visa shells out $5.3bn for Silicon Valley startup

Visa CEO Al Kelly said deal is a “long-term play”.

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Image provided by Plaid

Visa is acquiring a Silicon Valley startup that is used by the likes of online trading platform Robinhood, peer-to-peer payment app Venmo and money transfer company Transferwise in a $5.3bn ( £4.1bn) deal.

The amount shelled out by the US card giant is around double the latest valuation of Plaid, which was previously valued at $2.65bn ($2.04bn).

Plaid develops financial services APIs and helps developers share banking and other financial information.

According to Plaid, one in four people in the US with bank accounts have connected to the company through an app.

Since launching in 2013, Plaid, which launched in the UK last year, has integrated with over 10,000 banks and more than 20m consumer bank accounts.

Both Visa and Mastercard were early investors in the startup, along with American Express and Citi.

The move marks Visa’s latest attempt to make a push into the fintech sector. In 2017, it bought a majority stake in Sweden’s payments provider Klarna.

Plaid CEO Zach Perret (pictured) said: "Visa is trusted by billions of consumers, businesses and financial institutions as a key part of the financial ecosystem, and together Visa and Plaid can support the rapid growth of digital financial services."

According to Al Kelly, CEO and Chairman of Visa, the deal was a "long-term play" that would position Visa for the next decade, helping it bolster its relationship with fintech companies.

"We are extremely excited about our acquisition of Plaid and how it enhances the growth trajectory of our business,” added Kelly. 

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.”

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Zach Perret

CEO and Co-founder


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