Business payment acceleration firm Branch nets $540m in Lee Fixel’s Addition-led round

Branch, which has built a flexible workforce payments platform, raised $48m in Series B funding and closed on a $500m credit facility to “expand instant payments to working Americans.”

Lee Fixel’s Addition — which has also backed the likes of Flipkart, Stripe and Coinbase — led the equity financing while the credit facility was secured in the form of purchased assets from funds managed by Neuberger Berman.

Drive Capital, Crosscut Ventures, Bonfire Ventures, Matchstick Ventures and HR Tech Investments LLC, a subsidiary of Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. (an affiliate of job search site Indeed) also participated in the equity funding, among other investors. With the latest investment, Minneapolis-based Branch has brought in a total of $58m in equity funding since its 2015 inception.

The raise marks Branch’s first since 2017. It plans to use the influx of cash to deliver faster payments and financial services through partnerships with employers, gig platforms, staffing companies and other businesses.

Founded in 2015 and led by CEO Atif Siddiqi, Branch offers enterprises a solution to deliver on-demand payments and empower their employees and contractors with tools including digital payouts of tips, wages, and off-cycle payments, earned wage access, fee-free banking, and paycard alternative.

It started off with earned wage access and then began accelerating payments for workers. It has since expanded into use cases such as digital tip payments. The company recently expanded the platform to support contractor payments and reporting, offering a more streamlined, uniform payments experience for businesses and their 1099 workers. Companies can automate processes, reduce payroll costs, support independent contractors with free financial services, and remove logistical burdens and cash flow concerns.

Companies that have adopted Branch include global workforce solutions provider Kelly, influencer marketing platform Tagger, Delivery Drivers, Inc. (DDI), an independent contractor management solution specializing in last-mile delivery, and HR and IT management platform Rippling.

Commenting on the funding, Siddiqi said, “Faster payments is a compelling and transformative benefit expected by today’s workforce. We’ve seen how it can significantly improve cash flow for both companies and workers, so we’re excited to deliver instant payments and other engaging tools to more sectors and workforces, from other workers living paycheck to paycheck to independent contractors growing their own businesses.”

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