Elevate secures $5 million in PreSeries A to expand into South Africa, Turkey

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June 6, 2024
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2 min read
Elevate team
  • Elevate, a San Francisco-based fintech company, has announced a $5 million equity-debt pre-Series A round led by Negma Ventures, a Dubai-based investment fund.
  • The fintech, which already provides US-based banking services to non-US residents from Bangladesh, Egypt, the Philippines, and Pakistan, intends to use the funds to expand its operations into South Africa, Turkey, and countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
  • Elevate anticipates strong demand in the third quarter from Indonesia and Malaysia, followed by Vietnam and Thailand. Elevate CEO Khalid Keenan cited key metrics to explain the fintech's expansion into Southeast Asia.

Elevate, formerly known as Bloom, is now run by Khalid Keenan and Youcef Oudjidan. It offers FDIC-insured US bank accounts to its users, allowing remote workers to receive their pay directly into their US bank accounts. Users can use debit cards to purchase and transfer funds to their domestic bank accounts. These services and products are provided in partnership with sponsor bank Bangor Savings Bank.

Initially, the fintech planned to offer local USD accounts, but it chose insured accounts based in the United States due to the absence of payment receipt fees and the additional security reserved for US customers.

Keenan stated that remote workers who want to save in dollars have the option of using an FDIC-insured account or a riskier wallet. He also said that they prioritise protection and low-cost FX transfers, as opposed to traditional services such as Payoneer, which do not provide FDIC insurance and charge high FX rates (up to 3%). The goal is to reduce FX rates, similar to Wise, and negotiate better terms for remote workers.

Since 2021, Elevate has raised funding in equity and debt from investors, including Y Combinator, Visa, Goodwater, VSQ, and Negma Group, amounting to $10 million.

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The YC-backed company generates revenue from net interest income, FX, and card interchange, and plans to launch savings and investment products in the coming months. The firm claims to be nearing profitability, having spent around $2 million since its inception.

Elevate's efforts to enter the remote work market include partnerships with freelancing platforms and payroll providers such as Deel to gain access to their customer base. It has signed up more than 150,000 people in its new markets.


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