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LemFi Raises $33M Series A Funding to Transform Financial Services for Immigrants



LemFi, a fintech startup dedicated to revolutionizing financial services for immigrants, has successfully secured a Series A funding round totaling $33 million, led by Left Lane Capital. The funding drive was further enriched by contributions from notable investors including Y-Combinator, Zrosk, Global Founders Capital, and Olive Tree.

Established in 2020 by Ridwan Olalere and Rian Cochran, LemFi (formerly known as Lemonade) embarked on a mission to address the financial obstacles faced by immigrants due to limited access to financial services. Their vision centered on constructing a robust platform tailored to empower the upcoming generation of immigrants.

Presently, LemFi’s solutions enable users to swiftly join their services upon attaining residency, granting them the ability to engage in a plethora of financial activities. This encompasses sending, receiving, holding, converting, and saving funds in the currencies of both their homeland and adopted nation. Furthermore, LemFi extends the convenience of instant international transfers, offering favorable exchange rates without imposing any charges for transfers or account maintenance.

Having successfully concluded this latest investment round, LemFi has outlined its plans to broaden its product portfolio across regions including the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Simultaneously, the company is committed to crafting innovative product offerings that align with the evolving needs of its users.

Driven by experience 

Co-founder and CEO of LemFi, Olalere, said he drew from his own experience as an immigrant to build the company’s services.  

  • “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. 
  • “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. This has driven immigrants to often use unsafe, informal channels or to stitch together several other services to solve some of their basic financial needs. Until now,” he said.  

What the investors are saying 

Speaking on what motivated the investment in LemFi, Principal at Left Lane Capital, Matthew Miller, said:  

  • “LemFi has been very deliberate and strategic in acquiring licenses and building a robust network of financial institution partners to facilitate cross-border payments for immigrants. We’re excited to support LemFi as it expands its product offering to serve more immigrant communities globally.” 

With the investment, Miller joins LemFi’s Board of Directors as part of the transaction. 

In 2020, LemFi launched in Canada to enable easy and low-cost remittance payments to Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya.

By 2021, the company quickly expanded to the UK, and in parallel, broadened its reach by enabling 10 new African remittance corridors. In a strategic consideration, LemFi acquired UK-based Rightcard Payment Services in late 2021.

Through the acquisition, LemFi obtained an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to provide customers with more services, such as higher transaction limits, e-money accounts, and more.