Welcome Tech, which wants to create a “super app” for immigrants, raises $30 million – TechCrunch

Immigrants to the United States face countless challenges besides having to learn a new language. In many cases, they are dealing with a complex foreign financial system, they may have difficulty finding decent housing and health care and generally feel lost.

Welcome to technologya startup that aims to build an “operating system” for immigrant families in the United States, has raised $30 million in new capital to help these individuals not only adapt – but feel comfortable and “thriving” – in their new environment.

built by immigrants to Immigrants Welcome Tech wants to do what its name suggests – help immigrants feel welcome, have an easier transition and be more successful when moving to the United States

The increase comes on the heels of the Los Angeles-based company $35 million from Series B In April 2021, which was jointly led By TTV Capital, Owl Ventures, and SB’s SB Opportunity Fund.

TTV Capital has led Welcome Tech’s latest capital injection, bringing the company’s total to $70 million since its inception in 2010. Owl Ventures, SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund, Mubadala Capital and Next Play Capital have joined TTV in doubling its investments in the company. .

In recent years, a number of digital banks have emerged to focus on specific demographics in the United States, for example, Fair in Houston raised $40 million last year and its multilingual digital bank and financial services heavily focused on immigrants; TomoCredit, that developed a credit card focused on building a credit history for first-time borrowers, Raised $17 Million In 2021; First Avenue 5 million dollars raised for its digital bank targeting the Black and LatinX communities and cheese 3 million dollar insurance For its digital bank that primarily aims to serve the Asian American community

Co-founder, CEO and President Amir Hemmat at Welcome Tech says his company’s initial approach was different from others in the field rather than launch a banking product and then set out to earn the trust of the community it aims to serve, first it “worked hard to earn that trust and understand the needs of the community” .

Therefore, in the early years of its existence, Welcome Tech focused on providing educational resources, information and services to the immigrant population, with a primary focus on the Hispanic community in the United States.

The purpose of its first offering is dubbed Knowledge (meaning knowledge is power in Spanish), is to serve as a “widely recognized and trusted resource” for members of the Hispanic community in the United States, the company says.

company Today it approaches 4 million registered and active users.

Armed with the knowledge and data it has amassed over the years, in November of 2020, Welcome Tech launched a banking service, including a debit card and a bilingual mobile application.

“We blew up about 1 million downloads of our digital wallet app a few weeks ago,” whispered TechCrunch said. “We believe the future of immigration starts with our digital wallet, making the consumer bank in a fair way with the ability to do business and deal fairly.”

Image credits: Welcome to technology

From March 2021 to March 2022, the company says it saw a 2,200% increase in portfolio growth. Meanwhile, the revenue generated from the digital wallet increased by 2800% during the same time frame. To date, Welcome has opened more than 500,000 “free” and bilingual bank accounts for the Hispanic community, according to Heimat.

In January of 2021, it launched a monthly subscription offer that gives users access to discounted resources such as medical and dental professionals. For example, subscribers can access Consultations with Spanish-speaking doctors “whenever they need it”, discounts of 10%-85% on medicines and 10%-50% on dental services. No health insurance requirement, all immigration cases are accepted and the offer includes bilingual customer service.

This subscription service saw 50% quarter-on-quarter growth between the first quarter of 2021 through the first quarter of 2022, according to Welcome Tech.

The company also offers a rewards center that offers a financial incentive to participate in surveysan offer called FarmaSEP to help users save money on prescriptions and PODERSeguros, to help them get auto insurance.

While many companies use digital advertising to attract customers, Welcome Tech also has an offline approach. For example, it partners with embassies and consulates across the country, and has a “special” ability to access — and grow — from those locations, according to Heimat.

Image credits: Welcome to technology

“One of the ways we have outperformed others in acquiring users is by betting on education when no one else is doing it,” he said. “Our branded platform is all about being a trusted supplier and partner to the American consumer. We have delivered this by investing heavily in education and building a portfolio of content for immigrant consumers.”

Hemmat said that using the data it collected over the years to drive the services it provides has helped significantly reduce customer acquisition costs.

The CEO says he is “proud” of the fact that there are more players focusing on this demographic.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “for us, It’s really about being the “super app” of the immigrant consumer, and more than just a single service. Thus, a lot of these service providers may be our partners in the future. Ultimately, what we want to be is a transaction platform of consumer choice.”

Since the latest increase, Welcome Tech has expanded its team from 20 to 80 people, which is made up of 48% “diverse minorities,” according to the company. And its board of directors now It says more than 71 percent are ethnically diverse.

The company is still focused on growth and has yet to turn a profit, according to Hemmt.

“We want to build an operating system for immigrants,” said Hemmat. “We are a brand and lifestyle platform that aims to build a better future for immigrants, and this increase will help us take huge steps towards that.”

Looking to the future, we finally welcome our friendly expansion outside the United States

“we “I don’t see any limitations on the business model and technology that we have built,” said Hemmat.

Welcome “You don’t necessarily need a salary increase,” said Gardiner Garrard, co-founder and managing partner at lead investor TTV Capital.

“One of the things you do in your venture capital asset allocation is rely on winners,” he told TechCrunch. “You’re really buying people who are doing a good job and putting all of your resources there. I think in this case, for existing investors, that surge was about acquiring a company that has a lot of tailwind, a big market, that’s been doing, transforming, and doing exceptionally well, helping them to To be faster and be bolder in how it serves and builds.”

Garrad has backed a number of other fintech companies over the years, including Green Dot, Greenlight, Greenwood, KOHO, and Ando. In his opinion, Welcome Tech is a “category winner” in its space.

“We see the use of Welcome Tech as a superior app for this demographic, because we really go beyond financial products to the customer base,” he told TechCrunch. “Just that the financial products are the hanging fruit now..”

Grad also touts the company’s ability to successfully launch a subscription model with “highly engaged” users, something that has eluded most traditional banks and financial institutions.

“I think that’s a big trench around any of the incumbents,” he said. “In some ways, it’s like Netflix or CostCo, where anyone can be a member and the Welcome collects all the products you need for your life in this country as an immigrant, and you’ll get them at a discount.”

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