Series A: Zolve secures $40 million funding led by DST Global
The round, one of the largest Series A funding rounds in India’s startup ecosystem, values Zolve at $210 million, a company executive told ET.
In February, the startup had
raised $15 million in its seed round at a valuation of $50 million.
The Delaware and Bengaluru-based startup, founded by former TaxiForSure co-founder Raghunandan G, specialises as a neo-banking platform for international migrants moving to the United States.
The firm will deploy the fresh capital to expand its team, as well as its product suite, Raghunandan told ET over a video call.
The startup, which launched full scale services last month, is also planning to expand its entry to the European and Canadian immigration markets.
“Since we launched, we have been receiving inbound request for funding from many investors and even this round was oversubscribed. We chose our investors very carefully as we want to learn from their experiences. DST and Tiger, for example, are on the cap table of some of the largest neo-banks and fintech startups in the world such as Chime, Robinhood, Revolut among others,” he said.
Launched in September, Zolve allows immigrants travelling to the United States access to bank accounts with a credit card even before being assigned a social security number. This is done based on their credit score in their home country. The firm also plans to expand its service to instant remittance, insurance, and loans soon.
Zolve said it currently serves around 70,000 customers from Australia, Canada, Germany, India, and the United Kingdom, among others.
“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,” Raghunandan said.
The round comes just weeks after Chennai-based
CredAvenue raised $90 million in India’s largest ever Series A round, ahead of Ola Electric Mobility ($58 million in 2019) and Mensa Brands ($50 million in May 2021), according to data from Venture Intelligence.
Other Indian startups that attracted
large Series A rounds include FamPay ($38 million in June 2021), Design Café ($29 million in December 2018) and Cred ($25 million in September 2018).
“Zolve is among the few startups I’ve seen that achieved 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,” said Anand Daniel, partner, Accel.
According to Bejul Somaia, partner, Lightspeed, access to financial services for immigrants traveling abroad holds high value. “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,” he said.