Neobank Zolve raises $15m to ease financial services for migrants

Challenger bank Zolve has raised $15m in a seed funding round to scale up its frontend banking solutions to migrants from India to the US and across the world.

Led by Accel and Lightspeed, the round saw participation from Blume Ventures and established angel investors including a former managing director at Helion Ashish Gupta, angel investor in Twitter and Ripple Greg Kidd, founder of Cred Kunal Shah, managing partner at DST Global Rahul Mehta and the senior managing director at Coatue Capital Rahul Kishore. Furthermore, US-based Founder Collective, investor in Uber also participated in this round.

With the newly infused capital, the US-headquartered startup aims to enable migrants moving from India to the US and vice versa get access to banking and financial services through tie-ups with US and Indian banks.

Getting seamless financial services as well as banking and credit services at competitive rates is a herculean task for migrants in other countries despite having a credible financial history in home markets, the company said. This might be due to the lack of existing credit history in new countries, a task which can take up to three to four years to build.

To ensure students and professionals moving overseas don’t face this issue, Zolve plans to launch its platform this year.

Alongside basic financial services, the company plans to be a one-stop-shop for customers services including remittances, cryptocurrency, loyalty-based solutions, insurance, credit through partnerships and trading of shares for companies listed at US exchanges.

The FinTech startup claims to have amassed over 5,000 customers, as it currently only has customers in India therefore getting most of its revenue from banking partners in the US. The company is already operating to form more revenue-generating arrangements with more financial firms.

Zolve has inked partnerships with five Indian and American banks as well as with card processing giant Visa for its own credit and debit cards.

This is not Zolve founder Raghunandan G’s first entrepreneurial venture. He was the brain behind cab aggregator platform Taxi For Sure, founded in 2011, which was acquired by Ola for $200  in 2015. Post that, Raghunandan has been an angel investor in a slew of startups including Vedantu.

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