Branch founding team
Branch was founded in 2014 by Alex Austin, Mike Molinet, Mada Seghete, and Dmitri Gaskin with a mission to create a more connected, open, and relevant digital ecosystem. Today, Branch is the mobile growth platform of choice for over 100,000 apps and 3 billion monthly users around the world, and is one of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing unicorns.
Alex is passionate about building things that solve real problems. As co-founder of Branch, Alex took his extensive background in consumer-focused mobile products and applied it to creating a technology that has become the standard in mobile deep linking.
Prior to Branch, he designed world record-setting thin film solar panel material, launched multiple semiconductor products from R&D to production, and built robotic solar panel manufacturing tools (including one that now bears his name). Alex has been published in the Journal of Applied Physics, has contributed to a book on nanotechnology, and has developed five granted patents. He holds an MS in Electrical Engineering as well as an MBA from Stanford University.
Mike is a co-founder of Branch and is obsessive about building products and streamlining inefficient processes with technology. Born and raised in NJ, he moved to Silicon Valley in 2012 with the dream to build a tech company. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell and an MBA from Stanford University. In between undergrad and his MBA, Mike spent 5 years in product development for 3M, where he launched over a dozen products and acquired ten patents.
Outside work, Mike spent eight years as a volunteer firefighter/EMT and is an avid woodworker (with dreams of becoming Branch’s Chief Carpentry Officer one day).
Mada co-founded Branch in 2014, masterminding the community-driven marketing strategy behind the company’s early, explosive success. Mada remains deeply involved in the company’s global culture initiatives, which have led to several industry awards. Born and raised in Romania, Mada came to the US to study Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University and then earned her Masters of Engineering and MBA from Stanford.
Mada enjoys playing the latest viral mobile games, binge-watching the hottest sci-fi shows, and photographing Branch events. Mada regularly speaks about mobile growth at top global tech events, including Web Summit and SaaStr; she is the host for the How I Grew This podcast series and an instructor for a Growth Strategies course at Stanford Continuing Studies; and she invests in women founders as a partner for XFactor ventures. Additionally, Mada volunteers for CASA, where she mentors and advocates for children and youth in the foster care system.
Dmitri co-founded Branch at age 19 with a decade of programming experience already under his belt, specializing in node.js and Drupal. At age 12 he gave his first technical talk. Prior to Branch, Dmitri was accepted into Stanford and dropped out after his first semester. He is an accomplished Klezmer accordion player, and a goatherd who recently started making artisan cheese. In 2015, he was named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30.