Visa to acquire crypto-serving fintech unicorn Plaid for $5.3B

Payments giant Visa is set to acquire Plaid, a crypto-serving fintech unicorn, for $5.3 billion.

Announced Monday, Visa said the acquisition would help it enter into new businesses and enhance its existing card business. The deal is expected to close in the next 3-6 months, pending regulatory approvals.

Plaid helps users to connect their bank accounts to apps, such as PayPal's Venmo, to conveniently share their financial information. The startup also serves crypto firms, including Coinbase and Abra wallet.

Visa would pay $4.9 billion in cash and around $400 million of retention equity and deferred equity, according to a presentation deck. The payments giant is paying a significant premium over Plaid’s valuation which recently hit over $2.5 billion.

“The combination of Visa and Plaid will put us at the epicenter of the fintech world, expanding our total addressable market and accelerating our long-term revenue growth trajectory,” said Al Kelly, CEO and chairman of Visa.

The deal has the potential to help Visa add 80-100 basis points to its revenue growth by 2021, per the deck.

Both Visa and Mastercard invested an undisclosed sum in Plaid recently. Founded in 2012, the startup has raised $310 million in venture capital funding to date.