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Rewire, an Amsterdam-based startup that’s developed an international banking platform for expatriate workers, raised $12 million in Series A financing, led by venture fund Viola Fintech, which is owned by Israeli tech firm Viola.
Other investors in the round include Opera Tech Ventures, a unit of BNP Paribas; OurCrowd; Moneta Funds and several individual Israeli investors, as well as strategic partner Standard Bank of South Africa.
The app is aimed at migrant workers from the developing world who have little access to banking services or consumer credit and often pay heavily to send their earnings back home. The new financing will enable the firm to expand beyond current markets in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, and to build partnerships with local banks in their client’s countries of origin, including the Philippines, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Nigeria.
Rewire also issues debit cards, which can be hard for the workers to obtain from local financial institutions. Standard Bank of South Africa, the continent’s largest bank, has branches in 20 countries whose citizens often migrate to Europe on work visas.
Viola Fintech Fund co-founder and partner Dani Tzidon joined the board of Rewire.
“We have seen a surge in global migration in recent years and identified an opportunity where Rewire can provide an efficient, transparent and affordable international banking platform for migrants which have previously been disadvantaged by banking systems,” said Rewire Chief Executive Officer Guy Kashtan.
Peter Green is an award-winning business and investigative journalist based in New York.