When Plaid won TechCrunch Disrupt 2013’s Hackathon, it wasn’t even Plaid yet. The team was building a web app that let users view their credit card and debit card transactions on a map. But in the process they figured out how to solve the challenge of integrating banks with the app, planting the seeds of Plaid. Since then, the startup has taken a journey full of twists and turns, including its scuppered acquisition by Visa, followed by a funding round that put it at a $13.4 billion valuation, to the lows of a privacy class action lawsuit and layoffs last year. In a wide-ranging conversation at this year’s Disrupt, founder Zach Perret talked candidly about all those topics.
On January 13, 2020, Visa announced that it was acquiring Plaid for $5.3 billion or 2 times its final private valuation. Twelve months later, the deal was over.
While it was widely reported that Visa walked away because of an antitrust investigation by the Department of Justice, Perret says “we worked very closely with Visa on this ultimately, and it became a mutual decision, which is where we wanted to land it.”