LemFi Raises $33 Million To Transform Financial Services For African Immigrantsby Fintechnews Africa 29 August 2023
LemFi (former Lemonade Finance), a Canada based fintech platform transforming financial services for immigrants, has raised a $33 million Series A round led by Left Lane Capital. Other investors included Y-Combinator, Zrosk, Global Founders Capital, and Olive Tree.
Each year, millions of immigrants move abroad to start new lives, and the biggest hurdle they face is access to financial services. In 2020, Founders Ridwan Olalere and Rian Cochran joined forces to solve these challenges with a vision to build a platform that empowers the next generation of immigrants.
Olalere and Cochran first met while building OPay – one of Africa’s most successful fintech platforms. After combined decades of navigating the underlying complexities and regulatory nuances of cross-border payments in emerging markets, the two were uniquely positioned to leverage their experience as a launching pad for LemFi.
Olalere, LemFi’s CEO, drew from his own experience as an immigrant and shared,
“Having lived on three continents and leading a multicultural team, our mission is deeply personal: creating a world where financial services are universally accessible. We’ve already made life easier for over half a million people, but we’re only just getting started.”
Today, within minutes of residency, a user can onboard with LemFi and use its multi-currency offering to send, receive, hold, convert and save in the currencies of both their country of origin and country of residence. In addition, LemFi also offers instant international transfers at the best exchange rates with zero fees on transfers or account maintenance.
“Our product is a game changer for users since traditional banks and other leading neo-banks have always steered clear of less common or more volatile currencies,”
Ridwan Olalere explained
2023 has similarly been a pivotal year for LemFi, with its new subsidiary Rightcard Payment Services securing an International Money Transfer Operator (IMTO) license from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The IMTO license will enable LemFi to offer its services in partnership with Nigerian banks, empowering users by eliminating the need for intermediaries. The Acting Governor of the Central Bank, Folashodun Shonubi, recognizes the alignment of LemFi with the Central Bank’s goals of improving the availability of foreign exchange in Nigeria and ensuring exchange rate stability.
LemFi remains committed to offering accessible and transparent financial services to migrant communities across the globe. With the conclusion of this latest investment round, the Company will seek to expand its product offering to the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as innovate on new product offerings according to the needs of its users.
Featured image credit: LemFi Founders Ridwan Olalere and Rian Cochran