Visa and Mastercard have joined a $250 million financing round in Plaid, a US startup that links consumer bank accounts with fintech apps.
As consumers increasingly look to share their bank data with third party apps, Plaid has grown into a multi-billion dollar company in just a few years. In December, amid rumours of a bidding war, it closed its $250 million Series C round at a $2.65 billion valuation.
The size of Visa and Mastercard's share of that deal have not been disclosed. Other prominent previous investors include Goldman Sachs, Citi and American Express.
In a statement on the card schemes' interest, the company says: "We have long been inspired by the work these networks did to digitize commerce, and hold this as an example for what we hope to accomplish in financial services."
The startup has focused on helping financial applications interact with checking and savings accounts, striking deals with big banks such as JPMorgan Chase and fintechs including Robinhood and Acorns.
The company claims that a quarter of US consumers with bank accounts have connected to Plaid through an app.
Hoping to replicate its success in the US, the company is opening a UK office to support European expansion and planning to hire 25 staff locally by 2020.