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Dubai-based Startup NOW Money Raises $700,000 to Boost Financial Inclusion of Migrant Workers

The startup offers mobile banking solutions to migrant workers in the GCC, helping them solve one of their main challenges: sending money back home.

Staff Writer

Now Money, a Dubai-based startup providing migrant workers with mobile banking solutions, has just secured a $700,000 investment from two US-based VCs, Accion Venture Lab and Newid Capital.

This round comes a year after the FinTech startup, founded by two former bankers, landed a $500,000 seed investment. Now, with a total of $1.2 million funding, Now Money sets off to launch its services across the UAE and expand to other GCC countries.

Founded by Katherine Budd and Ian Dillion, two former bankers, the provides low-income migrant workers in the Gulf with a smartphone-based account where they can receive their salaries, through a partnership with their employers. Now Money’s mobile app can then be used to recharge phone credit, pay bills, or transfer money to their home countries without having to go to a remittance center. According to the startup, this saves users an average $1,800 in remittance services in five years.

“Each year, migrant workers contribute more than $400 billion to their home economies, and the United Arab Emirates is among the top remittance-sending countries in the world. Now Money’s innovative approach and digital platform provide a faster and safer option for these workers to support their families and communities,” said Michael Schlein, CEO and President of Accion.

According to Mena Bytes, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are among the top ten migrant hosting countries of the world with nearly 18.3 million migrants in both countries. 

“Our partnership with Now Money marks a number of firsts for Accion Venture Lab – our first investment in the Middle East region, our first investment into a wholly-digital neobank, and our first opportunity to focus on reaching low-income migrant workers,” said Amee Parbhoo, Director of Investments at Accion Venture Lab, which is a venture arm of a financial inclusion leader Accion.

With at least six awards under their belts - including Chivas' The Venture - Now Money stands as one of the Gulf’s most promising startups, potentially impacting the lives of 18.3 million migrants across the region.

Photo Credit: Now Money.



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