Start-Ups

Elevate Secures $5 Million In Pre-Series A Funding For South Africa And Turkey Expansion

Initially aiming to offer local USD accounts, Elevate pivoted to providing U.S.-based insured accounts to bypass payment receipt fees and enhance security for its users.

Elevate Secures $5 Million in Pre-Series A Funding for South Africa and Turkey Expansion
Elevate secures $5 million in pre-series A funding [PHOTO CREDIT: Techpoint Africa]

Elevate, the fintech startup formerly known as Bloom, has successfully raised $5 million in a Pre-Series A funding round to fuel its expansion into South Africa and Turkey. The company, now led by co-founders Khalid Keenan and Youcef Oudjidan, offers FDIC-insured U.S. bank accounts tailored for remote workers, enabling them to receive salaries directly into their U.S. accounts. This service is supported through a collaboration with Bangor Savings Bank, providing users with the ability to utilize debit cards for purchases and easily transfer funds to local bank accounts.

Initially aiming to offer local USD accounts, Elevate pivoted to providing U.S.-based insured accounts to bypass payment receipt fees and enhance security for its users. Khalid Keenan emphasized the dual options available to remote workers: secure FDIC-insured accounts or riskier digital wallets. He underscored Elevate’s commitment to security and cost-effective foreign exchange (FX) transfers, positioning the company as a better alternative to traditional services like Payoneer, which lack FDIC insurance and impose high FX fees—sometimes as steep as 3%. By contrast, Elevate aims to deliver FX rates on par with Wise and secure more favourable terms for remote workers.

Elevate has raised $10 million in equity and loan capital from well-known investors such as Y Combinator, Visa, Goodwater, VSQ, and Negma Group since its founding in 2021. The Y Combinator-backed firm makes money via net interest income, foreign exchange, and card interchange fees, with ambitions to launch savings and investing products in the near future. The company is on the edge of profitability, having spent around $2 million since its debut.

Elevate’s strategic efforts to conquer the remote work market include collaborations with freelancing platforms and payroll suppliers like Deel, which provide them access to a large customer base. To date, the company has added over 150,000 subscribers in its new markets, demonstrating its rapid development and expanding footprint.

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