Pillar, a fintech startup for immigrants, has raised a pre-seed round of $16.9 million led by Global Founders Capital and Backed VC.

Moving to a country in Europe, America, the Carribeans oftentimes come with frustrating visa application challenges for Africans on the continent. In addition, there is often the disturbing thought of how to navigate life therein without a credit portfolio. 

To say Africans are continually on the move out of their countries to settle abroad is no news. Economic downturns, political instability, spiraling conflicts, and steep insecurity are some of the predominant reasons Africans are jetting out of the continent. Hence, startups like Pillar are focused on providing immigrants with access to credit products when moving to a new country.

In a research carried out by Pew Research Center, it was uncovered that immigrants from Africa in the United States were at 4.6 million in 2019 and are projected to increase to 9.5 million by 2060. In addition, four African countries – Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, and Kenya – are among the top 10 origin countries for Sub-Saharan migrants to Europe.

With the newly raised $16.9 million pre-seed funds, Pillar is driven by the ambition to disrupt the global credit space by providing credit products like loans and credit cards to migrants moving to other countries. 

If the world claims to be a global village with minimal barriers, then credit products for migrants should be easily accessible. Particularly for Africans who migrate out of their countries more than any continent in the world.

According to the CEO and Co-founder, Ashutosh Bhatt, the idea for the startup was born from his personal experience as a migrant moving from India to the UK. 

“Ever since I moved to the UK and found I could not 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. Years later, the problem still had not changed, so we set out to build a globally scalable platform that breaks down data silos and credit borders” Bhatt said. 

Pillar is bringing a timely solution to a fragmented system with its open banking data and analytics engine bound to power the global scalability of its platform ultimately giving international immigrants a viable chance at credit products.

On his part, experienced fintech CTO and co-founder, Adam Lewis stated that the world should be a true global village with no barrier compelling one to peel off their fiscal history or impede them from continuing to enjoy their earned credit life all because they moved into a new country. 

Dele Bakare, a Nigerian and founding member of the team who also doubles as the Head of Engineering at the start-up, believes the solution is a game-changer for African immigrants, especially in light of the austerity they face fiscal privileges in foreign countries. 

Gerald Parloiu, the 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.”

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox