MAJORITY, a mobile banking service for migrants to the United States, said on Tuesday it had raised $27 million in its Series A funding round led by Valar Ventures. Other existing investors, including Avid Ventures, Heartcore Capital and a group of Nordic fintech founders, also participated in the raise.
The round comes just six months after MAJORITY raised $19 million in seed funding, which TechCrunch previously reported, bringing MAJORITY’s total funding to $46 million to date. Since the seed round, the company has been building out its advisor program, particularly in Florida, and developing its “know your customer” (KYC) process and remittance offering so it can onboard “larger Hispanic communities within the U.S.,” founder and CEO Magnus Larsson told TechCrunch in an interview.
MAJORITY also announced today that it is rolling out a feature allowing its users to sign up for a bank account without a Social Security number, allowing them to use government ID from any other country along with proof of a U.S. address instead. The new feature will allow migrants to bypass onerous identity verification requirements that can bar them from accessing banking services for months at a time, the company says.
The team is composed of about 45 tech and product employees based in Stockholm, Sweden, and 20-plus internal employees in the U.S., Larsson said. He added that the company employs “hundreds” of local advisers who onboard and support members of different migrant communities by working with them in their native languages.
Larsson himself is a Swedish migrant to the U.S. who served as CEO of one of Sweden’s largest telecom companies before launching a previous venture to provide low-cost cross-border calling.
He is currently awaiting visa approval so he can move from Stockholm to Miami to build out MAJORITY’s marketing and brand efforts. The company is also looking to scale its risk team and back-office functions, which it runs out of its Houston location.
Larsson founded MAJORITY in 2019 to serve the million-plus migrants who move to the U.S. every year. The app, which costs $5 per month, provides a range of features, including an FDIC-insured bank account with no overdraft fees, a debit card with community discounts, no-fee remittances and at-cost international calling.
The company says it has saved its Cuban members an average of $21 per month and its Nigerian members an average of $10 per member each month beyond its membership fee because of its cost-efficient service offerings.
While the app’s core banking services are available in all 50 U.S. states, its advisers are only on the ground in Texas and Florida today. These states are hubs for some of the main communities the app already serves, Larsson said.
“If you look at different communities that we serve, they usually have a focal point. There is a town for Cubans — it’s Miami. For Ethiopians, it’s Washington, DC. For Somalians, it’s Minneapolis,” he added.
MAJORITY provides customized services to about seven specific migrant communities by providing them with culturally specific features, such as discounts at local businesses. Larsson hopes to bring MAJORITY’s full product suite to another five or six communities in the coming months.
Partnerships with local stores have proven to be an effective way for MAJORITY to grow its subscriber base, which it says has increased tenfold in the past year, though the company declined to share the number of users on its platform.
“You can come to meet an advisor outside of the grocery store, and five minutes later, you can walk away from there, with the bank [information] in your hand, and a Visa debit card in your hand, and you can usually add money and send it to another country directly in the store,” Larsson said.