Rewire, an Israeli fintech startup, has raised $25 million in investments led by Migdal Insurance and Financial Holdings Ltd. Rewire will use the funds to further its services in making insurance accessible to migrants. The company has now raised $62 million to date, including $15 million in credit.
The plight of migrant workers the world over has been a hot topic in recent years. Many are refugees. Many are also exploited in the countries where they end up. They also need to be able to send money home to help their families. In Israel there are a great many foreign workers in the country working in a variety of fields so it makes sense that Rewire comes out of Startup Nation.
Founded in 2015 by Guy Kashtan (CEO), Adi Ben Dayan (VP R&D), Saar Yahalom (CTO), and Or Benoz, Rewire says that it is shaping the way international workers manage their finances and that it is building the first “international borderless banking platform for migrants during their time abroad until their return home to a more secure future.”
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In 2016 the company expanded its services, adding payment corridors in India and parts of Southeast Asia. Then, in 2018, Rewire introduced its first international prepaid Mastercard. In the same year it partnered with Standard Bank of South Africa and began offering money transfers to people in Africa.
“Migrant workers face unique hurdles when transferring money back to their home countries, often navigating financial bureaucracies in languages and cultures they do not understand and dealing with complicated financial obligations in multiple countries,” explains Rewire.
“These barriers extend to insurance, as well, where migrants face limited access to coverage, unclear policies, and even discrimination.”
The Coronavirus was, ironically, actually good for business for Rewire, as well as other companies operating in the same field. “The Covid-19 crisis posed difficult challenges to the expat community in Israel and all over the world,” said Guy Kashtan last year when Rewire raised $20 million in investment. “Migrant workers were used to working with cash, withdrawing everything they earned. The quarantines and lockdowns prevented them from doing that, so many of them made a quick transition to digital. Over a very short period of time, we were required to double our customer support team, which is made up of 35 employees from all nationalities that reflects our clientele. We employ people who come from Thailand, China, the Philippines, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and a range of other countries.”