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Fintech Elevate gets $5M for Philippine expansion

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LONDON and Dubai-based financial technology (fintech) company Elevate has raised $5 million in financing for a platform that will offer dollar accounts to Filipinos as it targets the growing freelancing community in the country.

“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 foreign exchange (FX) rates that address their unique needs,” Elevate Chief Executive Officer Khalid Keenan said in a statement on Friday.

Elevate is sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank, a 172-year-old institution in Maine, USA, with over $7 billion in assets, which makes Elevate accounts Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured up to $250,000.

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

Elevate’s platform will allow Filipino freelancers to receive payments in US dollars. It supports free and fast deposits from US and international employers and platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, PayPal, Deel, and Toptal.

The product aims to serve the 1.5 million Filipinos registered on online international freelancing platforms and an additional 1.3 million working in business process outsourcing companies.

“The Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines, has been the fastest-growing area for remote work, alongside Europe, Middle East, and Africa,” Elevate said.

It also expects strong demand from workforces in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand amid continued opportunities from remote work.

The company will partner with multiple global FX providers integrated in Philippine banks to offer competitive rates for those transferring assets from dollar accounts to Philippine-based banks.

Elevate also offers a Mastercard debit card for online spending.

The company plans to expand its customer support, content, and compliance teams in the Philippines sometime in the second half of the year.

Elevate has over 150,000 users globally.

Since 2021, the company has raised a total of $10 million in equity and debt from investors, including Y Combinator, Goodwater, Global Founders Capital and VSQ. — A.M.C. Sy

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