Welcome Tech Lands $30 Million To Grow Its Financial Tools for Immigrants

Harri Weber

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 harrison@dot.la.

Welcome Tech Lands $30 Million To Grow Its Financial Tools for Immigrants
Courtesy of Welcome Tech

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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LA Tech ‘Moves’: Saviynt Gains New CEO, The FIFTH Taps Agency Veteran to Lead Creative Team

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Saviynt Gains New CEO, The FIFTH Taps Agency Veteran to Lead Creative Team
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Inflation hit cities with tech-heavy workforces hard last year. Tech workers fortunate enough to avoid layoffs still found themselves confronting rising costs with little change in their pay.

Those national trends certainly touched down in Los Angeles, but new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the city of angels was the only major metro area that saw its wage growth grow by nearly 6% while also outpacing the consumer price index, which was around 5%. Basically, LA was the only area where adjusted pay actually came out on a net positive.

So, what does this mean for tech workers in LA County?

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samsonamore@dot.la

Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

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