Elevate, a Y-combinator-backed fintech startup headquartered in London and Dubai, has successfully raised $5 million in financing to expand its operations in the Philippines.

Since 2021, they’ve raised a total of $10 million in equity and debt from investors, including Y Combinator, Goodwater, Global Founders Capital and VSQ, Elevate said in a statement on Monday.

Looking ahead, Elevate plans to expand its customer support, content, and compliance teams in the Philippines in third quarter/ fourth quarter of 2024.

The company also anticipates significant demand from other tech-savvy, educated workforces in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand, as remote work continues to offer new opportunities across Southeast Asia.

The firm also launched FDIC-Insured US dollars (USD) Accounts for Filipino freelancers.

Its product launch in the Philippines aims to address the financial challenges faced by Filipino freelancers.

The innovative platform is designed to simplify the process for freelancers in the Philippines to receive payments in USD.

It supports free and fast deposits from US and international employers and popular platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, PayPal, Deel, and Toptal.

For those transferring assets from USD accounts to Philippine-based banks, the platform offers the most competitive foreign exchange (FX) rates in the market.

By partnering with multiple large global FX providers integrated with banks in the Philippines, the platform ensures access to the best rates available, making it a cost-effective solution for maximizing earnings.

In addition to facilitating USD transfers, Elevate offers a Mastercard debit card that users can utilize for online spending.

“We are thrilled to bring our innovative financial solutions to the Philippines, a market with a burgeoning freelance community,” said Elevate’s Chief Executive Officer Khalid Keenan.

“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.”

A key differentiator for Elevate is its partnership with its sponsor bank, Bangor Savings Bank, a 172-year-old institution in Maine, United States, with over $7 billion in assets.

Unlike other electronic money accounts such as Wise and Payoneer, Elevate accounts are FDIC-insured through Bangor Savings Bank, providing users with the security of knowing their funds are protected up to $250,000 in the event of bank failure.

This partnership makes Elevate the only service enabling individuals in countries like the Philippines, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to open FDIC-insured U.S. bank accounts.

“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,” Keenan added.

Since its launch in early 2024, Elevate has already attracted over 150,000 users globally, highlighting the strong demand for its services among freelancers and remote workers.

With 1.5 million Filipinos registered on online international freelancing platforms and an additional 1.3 million working in BPOs, mostly for US companies, the Philippines is a hotspot for remote work.

Notably, in 2023, the Philippines surpassed India, the United States, Brazil, and other countries to become the leading country for workers on Deel, a popular remote work platform.

The Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines, has been the fastest-growing area for remote work, alongside Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

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