- We were first introduced to three members of the team that would eventually found Branch while they were enrolled in the Stanford Venture Studio program at the Graduate School of Business. Mar met the CEO Alex, during her on-campus office hours. in the fall of 2013. We fell in love with the team and decided to offer them some very early seed money to cover marketing expenses over the Holiday Season. At the time, they were working on a company called Kindred Prints, which was a photo-printing mobile app.
- Very early on in our partnership, we connected those three entrepreneurs with Dmitri, who became the company’s fourth co-founder. Dmitri was a Freshman in Computer Science at Stanford and he was hanging out at Pear’s Garage hacking away on different projects.
- In May 2014, when they were getting closer to graduation we wrote the first and only check they received as a pre-seed investment. By then they had already pivoted from a mobile app into a print mobile SDK. Then, days before the pre-seed round was closing the team came to us convinced that they needed to pivot to a new idea. Their SDK integrations were not generating as many prints as they expected but they figured out why - in-app communications was broken. They realized this was not just their problem but all mobile-app developers problem. They were set to address this opportunity.
- We stood behind them through their second product pivot, and once they had developed their next idea, we connected them with mentors capable of giving them sage advice, continued to help them in building up their team and we facilitated introductions to a slew of mobile developers and engineering/marketing teams at range of companies including Wish, AlltheCooks, and Expedia and several strategic partners, including Apple, Google, and Times of India.
- The new company, Branch, soon took off, and we all realized the team was on to something special.
- Today, not only are we providing additional capital to support Branch’s continuous growth, we’re also helping Alex, Mada, Mike, Dmitri and their colleagues to recruit candidates for other positions and making introductions to technical talent within our network. We’re thrilled that Branch has taken particular advantage of our hackathons, which provide young companies like theirs with opportunities both to recruit highly talented tech hackers and to market their product to new audiences. Branch has grown to raise an additional $50M, with NEA leading their Series A and Seed rounds and Founders Fund leading their series B. Within two years, their deep linking technology has been adopted by over 12,000 apps and has touched over 2 billion phones across the globe--a figure that continues to grow rapidly.