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Fintech startup Elevate raises US$5m in funding, offers competitive foreign exchange rates for Filipino freelancers

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Azunta Gaviola

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1 week ago

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Manila, Philippines – London and Dubai-based fintech startup Elevate has announced that it has successfully secured US$5m fund to expand its operations in the Philippines. The company has raised a total of US$10m in equity and debt from investors since 2021, which includes Y Combinator, Goodwater, Global Founders Capital, and VSQ.

In this initiative, Elevate will focus on addressing the financial challenges faced by Filipino freelancers. The platform set to be launched in the country, in particular, is designed to streamline the process for freelancers in the Philippines to receive payments in US dollars. 

It also offers free and fast deposits from US and international employers, as well as popular platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, PayPal, Deel, and Toptal.

Meanwhile, for transferring assets from USD accounts to Philippine-based banks, the platform further provides the most competitive foreign exchange (FX) rates in the market. Through its partnership with multiple large global FX providers integrated with banks in the Philippines, it ensures access to the best rates available, making it a cost-effective solution for maximising earnings.

Additionally, the company will also offer a Mastercard debit card that users can utilise for online spending.

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

“The introduction of FDIC-insured accounts through our sponsor bank, Bangor Savings Bank, is set to revolutionise the financial landscape for Filipino freelancers, offering them unprecedented security and convenience in managing their international earnings,” added Khalid.

Interestingly, a key differentiator for Elevate is its collaboration with its sponsor bank, Bangor Savings Bank, which assists them in providing users with the security of knowing their funds are protected up to $250,000 in the event of bank failure. This is made possible by its FDIC-insured status through Bangor Savings Bank. 

The said partnership positions the company as the only service enabling individuals in countries like the Philippines, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to open FDIC-insured U.S. bank accounts.

In the future, Elevate plans to expand its customer support, content, and compliance teams in the Philippines in Q3/Q4 of 2024. The company also expects a significant demand from other tech-savvy, educated workforces, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand, as remote work continues to create new opportunities across Southeast Asia.

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