Elevate secures US$5M for FDIC-insured accounts

Elevate, a fintech startup backed by Y Combinator and headquartered in London and Dubai, has raised $5 million to expand its operations in the Philippines.

The funding contributes to a total of $10 million raised since 2021 from investors including Y Combinator, Goodwater, Global Founders Capital, and VSQ.

The company’s product launch in the Philippines aims to address the financial challenges faced by Filipino freelancers by simplifying the process of receiving payments in US dollars (USD).

Elevate supports free and fast deposits from US and international employers and platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, PayPal, Deel, and Toptal.

For those transferring assets from USD accounts to Philippine-based banks, Elevate offers competitive foreign exchange (FX) rates through partnerships with large global FX providers integrated with banks in the Philippines. This ensures freelancers receive the best rates, maximizing their earnings.

Elevate also provides a Mastercard debit card for online spending.

“We are thrilled to bring our innovative financial solutions to the Philippines, a market with a burgeoning freelance community,” said CEO Khalid Keenan. “Our goal is to empower freelancers by providing secure, efficient services and the best USD-peso FX rates that address their unique needs.”

A significant feature of Elevate is its partnership with Bangor Savings Bank, a 172-year-old institution in Maine, USA.

Unlike other electronic money accounts such as Wise and Payoneer, Elevate accounts are FDIC-insured through Bangor Savings Bank, offering users protection of up to $250,000.

This makes Elevate the only service enabling individuals in countries like the Philippines, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to open FDIC-insured US bank accounts.

Since its early 2024 launch, Elevate has attracted over 150,000 users globally. The Philippines, with 1.5 million registered freelancers and an additional 1.3 million in BPOs, is a key market.

In 2023, the Philippines became the leading country for workers on Deel, a popular remote work platform.

Looking ahead, Elevate plans to expand its customer support, content, and compliance teams in the Philippines later in 2024.

The company also expects significant demand from other tech-savvy workforces in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

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