Welcome Tech Lands $30 Million To Grow Its Financial Tools for Immigrants
Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to email@example.com.
Welcome Tech, a Los Angeles-based startup building financial tools and services for immigrants in the U.S., has raised $30 million in new funding to bridge the gap between the $35 million Series B round it raised last year and a future Series C round.
Atlanta-based venture capital firm TTV Capital led the round. SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund also chipped in, as did San Francisco-based VCs Owl Ventures and Next Play Capital and Abu Dhabi-owned Mubadala Capital. The new funding takes Welcome Tech’s total capital raised to $70 million.
In addition to providing banking and digital wallet services geared toward immigrant communities, the startup also offers health care services and auto insurance, among other offerings. While Welcome Tech currently focuses on the Latinx community, it eventually aims to serve other immigrant populations in the U.S. and globally.
“What we’re about is building a better operating system for immigrants and immigration,” Welcome Tech co-founder and CEO Amir Hemmat told dot.LA. He noted that the company’s primary product, SABEResPODER, recently crossed 3 million users. “We’re enabling this community to connect to critical services like a fee-free bank account or a fair path to credit, but that’s really just the beginning,” Hemmat said.
Welcome Tech said its team has quadrupled in size, to 80 staffers, since it raised its $35 million Series B last April. Among the additions was Brooke Norton Lais, a former executive at fintech firm Green Dot who joined Welcome Tech as its first chief marketing officer in January. (Green Dot happens to be Welcome Tech’s banking partner.)
The company plans to use this latest funding—as well as a Series C round that it’s looking to raise in the near future—to further grow its team and its products, including a new credit card that it expects to launch later this year. As well as unveiling the new funding on Thursday, Welcome Tech announced that Telemundo marketing executive Mónica Gil and former Obama White House special counsel Michael Camuñez have joined its board.
Though Hemmat said Welcome Tech tries to stay out of politics, the startup’s website features a quote from businessman Jeb Bush Jr., the nephew of former President George W. Bush. Asked about the former president’s legacy—which includes overseeing the creation of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE)—Hemmat said Welcome Tech has “attracted people from all sides of thought toward what is a practical and pragmatic way to solve a real problem.”
“The policymakers sit at the top of the white castle and, you know, they don’t actually impact the day-to-day practical needs [of immigrants],” said Hemmat. “We’re really the first to think about, ‘How do you create value for this consumer, rather than extract value from this consumer?’”
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