Pomelo raises $20m to combine credit and international money transfers

Pomelo raises $20m to combine credit and international money transfers

Having secured $20 million in seed funding, Pomelo has launched its credit card that enables families in the US to extend their credit abroad while avoiding remittance fees.

Keith Rabois at Founders Fund as well as Kevin Hartz, co-founder of Xoom and general partner at A* Capital, led the round for Pomelo, which has also secured $50 million in warehouse facility.

Issued by Coastal Community Bank, the Pomelo Mastercard and app is available to US citizens and permanent residents 18 years and older. Cardholders can then invite their loved ones abroad to join their family plan. These people get a virtual and physical card that they can use for shopping online or in-store.

Pomelo says customers get the best real-time exchange rate for each purchase made. Unlike traditional money transfer services, Pomelo is paid by the merchant via interchange and daily foreign exchange rates, eliminating transfer fees for customers.

For those with low or no credit, the company offers a secured version of the Pomelo Mastercard, which allows customers to establish or build credit with the funds they would normally remit.

With the funding in place and after several months in private beta, Pomelo is officially launching with its first corridor to the Philippines.

Eric Velasquez Frenkiel, CEO, Pomelo, says: "Pomelo is on a mission to change how international money transfer fundamentally works.

"Our goal is to help our customers establish their financial future here in the United States by building positive credit history with their existing remittance obligations, and to financially include their loved ones in emerging economies with access to modern financial instruments."

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