Pomelo Announces $20 Million Venture Capital Funding Round
A FinTech with a unique way to help families send money across borders is exiting “stealth mode” and announcing a seed round. This week, Pomelo announced that it had raised $20 million. In addition to the venture capital, the company also secured $50 million in warehouse facility. Keith Rabois of Founders Fund and Xoom co-founder Kevin Hartz led the round while Afore Capital, Xfund, Josh Buckley, The Chainsmokers, and Abel Tesfaye (better known as The Weeknd) also participated.
Pomelo’s goal is to create a way to send money internationally without fees or delays. To do this, U.S. customers will first apply for a Pomelo card and then invite their loved ones to obtain their own card that they can use for purchases. Currently, one account can have up to four cards, with the primary applicant being the one to set limits, pause any card, view all transactions, and more. To start, Pomelo is launching in the Philippines, allowing U.S. users to send cards to that country.
Notably, instead of adding cash to Pomelo cards, customers are utilizing credit. In turn, the primary customers could be increasing their U.S. credit scores while their family abroad utilizes their cards for transactions. The Pomelo Mastercard is being issued by Coastal Community Bank — one of the leading FinTech partner banks.
Regarding Pomelo’s vision, the company’s founder and CEO Eric Velasquez Frenkiel said in a statement, “Pomelo is on a mission to change how international money transfer fundamentally works. Our goal is to help our customers establish their financial future here in the United States by building positive credit history with their existing remittance obligations, and to financially include their loved ones in emerging economies with access to modern financial instruments.” He added, “For many of our customers, Pomelo is their first credit card here in the US and the very first card for their loved ones overseas.”
Elsewhere, pop star and Pomelo investor Abel Tesfaye said of the company, “It’s amazing to me that something like Pomelo doesn’t already exist. Pomelo’s focus on connecting families across borders and doing what’s right by their customers is both powerful and refreshing. Investing in a company like that was a no-brainer.”
As far as seed rounds go, $20 million is definitely an impressive figure — not to mention that additional $50 million the startup has secured as well. Of course, looking at the concept, it’s easy to see why Pomelo has attracted this level of interest. And, while the company’s reach may be limited to start as it focuses on the Philippines, one can imagine that the platform could spread into other international markets quickly. In other words, as it emerges from “stealth mode,” Pomelo is now a FinTech worth watching.