Immigrants to a new country can often be cash rich. The problem is that they have no credit history in their new country. Plus, a consumer cannot take their credit file from one country to another. Furthermore, credit bureaus are rarely coordinated or joined up across countries. The upshot of this is that those that can get credit find themselves paying a disproportionately higher cost of borrowing. And immigrants have to start again every time they move to another country.
Companies like CapOne, Vanquis and NewDay have been promising to focus on this, but the problem remains a thorny one to solve. Credit fintech startups like Yonder, (raised £25.9 million), Keebo (raised $6.9 million) and Tymit ($21.5 million) are attempting to address this.
Adding to this roster is fintech startup Pillar, which has now raised a pre-seed round of £13 million ($16.9 million) led by Global Founders Capital and Backed VC.
The company claims it will be able to provide immigrants with access to credit products when moving to a new country.
Founded by Revolut alumni Ashutosh Bhatt and CTO, Adam Lewis, Pillar has an Open Banking-led data and analytics engine that will be launched in Q3 in 2022.
In a statement Ashutosh Bhatt, CEO of Pillar, said:
Ever since I moved to the U.K. and found I couldn’t access any of the everyday products I had in India this has been a problem I have been passionate about solving. I arrived earning a good salary at Barclays and found I couldn’t even get an iPhone!
The round also included angels such as the founders of WageStream, Peter Briffet and Portman Wills, as well as former VP and investor in Airbnb Oliver Jung. Ex-Revolut staff also participated including former CFO, Peter O’Higgins, ex-CMO Chad West, Neil Shah and Hardev Tumber.
Gerald Parloiu, partner at Global Founders Capital, commented: “We are hugely excited about this investment. Pillar is a genuinely differentiated offering solving a big problem in the market using disruptive technologies.”