NOW Money secures VC investment

NOW Money has secured $700,000 from American venture capital firms Accion Venture Lab and Newid Capital. The funds will be used to launch across the UAE and expand into Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

The platform provides mobile accounts and remittance capability to migrant workers in the GCC region.

“Having what’s understood to be the first early stage investment from U.S. venture capital into the Middle East is testament to the opportunities available here and how far the GCC has come in making itself a destination for investment,” NOW Money cofounder Ian Dillon said. “We hope this will be the first of many U.S. venture capital investments in the region, and will help to grow the ecosystem further.

“We’re excited to be making such a big social impact in the region. Accion is one of the leading global institutions promoting financial inclusion, and Newid Capital was co-founded by Nigel Morris, who previously co-founded Capital One Financial Services. We’re excited to be working with them to bring financial inclusion to the 26 million unbanked in the GCC.”

Migrant workers are collectively an economic force.

“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,” said Michael Schlein, CEO and President of Accion, “NOW Money’s innovative approach and digital platform provide a faster and safer option for these workers to support their families and communities.”

“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,” added Amee Parbhoo, Director of Investments at Accion Venture Lab. “As we reach this new group of financially underserved individuals, we’ll look to apply our learnings to Venture Lab’s work around the world.”

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