Neobank Zolve said on October 27 that it has raised $40 million in a Series A round of funding led by partners of DST Global. The round valued the startup at $210 million and also saw participation by Tiger Global, Alkeon Capital, as well as existing investors Accel and Lightspeed Ventures.
The Bengaluru-headquartered startup, founded by former TaxiForSure founder Raghunandan G, provides cross-border solutions to students and working professionals moving to the United States.
What Zolve does
On the basis of their home country credit score, Zolve provides immigrants — working professionals and students bound for the US — access to FDIC-insured bank accounts, high-limit credit cards, and debit cards. This is done without the need for an SSN (social security number) or US credit history, while they are still in their home countries.
The startup said it will use the funding to scale up its platform and is on course to become a full-stack financial services provider with products focused on instant remittance, insurance, and loans in the pipeline.
“While we intended to start with a small cohort of 500 users, we were oversubscribed by almost 90x from working professionals and students within the first few weeks. This incredible traction has been far beyond what we had envisioned and clearly demonstrates that there is a tangible need for a service that provides global citizens equitable access to financial products,” said Raghunandan.
Since the platform’s launch in September 2021, over 70,000 customers from Australia, Canada, Germany, India, and the United Kingdom, among others, have signed up with Zolve, the company said.
In an interview with Moneycontrol on September 22, Raghunandan had said that the startup is aiming to grow to a million customers in the next year, apart from revealing his plans to expand Zolve and turn into a full-stack financial services provider.
Anand Daniel, Partner at Accel, said: “Zolve is among the few startups I’ve seen that achieved a product-market fit right out of the gate. Given that the US is a country with immigrants in its DNA, it’s surprising how long it has taken someone to solve the issues that new immigrants experience with the traditional banking system.”
Not just Indian signups
Raghunandan had also said that Zolve is receiving queries not just from Indians but from non-Indian immigrants moving to the US as well.
“Access to tailored and fair financial products has a direct and meaningful impact on people's lives. The company's rapid acceleration, especially around customer acquisition and usage, is a reflection of the team's execution capability and significant unmet needs of Zolve's target customer base,” said Bejul Somaia, Partner at Lightspeed Ventures.Raghunandan was the Founder and CEO of TaxiForSure until the company was sold to Ola in 2015 for $200 million. He founded Zolve in January 2021 and the company secured seed funding of $15 million from investors such as Accel, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Founder Collective and other angel investors.