YC-Backed Elevate Raises US$5M to Streamline Filipino Freelancers’ Payments

YC-Backed Elevate Raises US$5M to Streamline Filipino Freelancers’ Payments

by June 10, 2024

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

Since 2021, Elevate has secured investments from 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.

Elevate’s platform simplifies the process for freelancers in the Philippines to receive payments in US dollars. It supports free and fast deposits from US and international employers and popular platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, PayPal, Deel, and Toptal.

For those transferring assets from USD accounts to Philippine-based banks, the platform offers competitive foreign exchange rates. By partnering with multiple large global FX providers integrated with banks in the Philippines, the platform says it ensures access to favourable rates, providing a cost-effective solution for maximising freelancer earnings.

Khalid Keenan, CEO of Elevate

Khalid Keenan

In addition to facilitating USD transfers, Elevate provides a Mastercard debit card that users can utilise for online spending. Khalid Keenan, CEO of Elevate, said,

“We are thrilled to bring our financial solutions to the Philippines, a market with a growing freelance community. Our goal is to empower freelancers by providing them with secure, efficient services and favourable USD-peso FX rates that address their needs.”

A notable aspect of Elevate is its partnership with its sponsor bank, Bangor Savings Bank, a 172-year-old institution in Maine, USA, with over US$7 billion in assets.

Unlike some other cross-border e-money transfer accounts, Elevate accounts are FDIC-insured through Bangor Savings Bank, ensuring users’ funds are protected up to US$250,000 in the event of bank failure.

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

Khalid added.

Since its launch in early 2024, Elevate has attracted over 150,000 users globally, indicating a strong demand for its services among freelancers and remote workers. With many Filipinos registered on online international freelancing platforms and working in BPOs, mostly for US companies, the Philippines is a significant location for remote work.

Elevate plans to expand its customer support, content, and compliance teams in the Philippines later in 2024. The company also anticipates demand from tech-savvy, educated workforces in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand, as remote work continues to present new opportunities across Southeast Asia.



Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik