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London Tech Week

This Berkeley grad credit-building startup for immigrants scores $122M funding

TomoCredit founder
Image credits: TomoCredit

TomoCredit, a female-founded, San Francisco-based startup, which makes credit building possible for immigrants and international students, has raised $122 million in equity and debt funding.

The investment came from a set of strategic investors, including Morgan Stanley’s Next Level Fund, MasterCard, and debt from Silicon Valley Bank. The round was oversubscribed by major fintech investors and culture funds including GoldHouse, Asian Hustle network, and Hyphen Capital.

Plans to expand its portfolio

With the new capital, TomoCredit will work on expanding its credit product offerings, including auto loans and mortgages with its innovative underwriting solutions.

TomoCredit recently welcomed seasoned credit experts as TomoCredit board members, including Ash Gupta, ex-CRO at Amex and former President and Chief Risk Officer at American Express. Also, Chaomei Chen, ex-CRO at Lending Club, also joined TomoCredit as acting CRO to help Tomo expand its credit offerings.

Kristy Kim, TomoCredit founder and CEO, stated, “It has been wonderful to partner with minority-focused funds who truly understand Tomo’s mission. We decided to add more capital for two key reasons. First, we were seeing incredible organic demands in the past two years, and we wanted to hire top talent to keep up with that organic growth. Secondly, we want to take full advantage of the newest consumer trends of avoiding high APR products. TomoCredit charges 0% APR with no fees. In recent months, many people who have 15 – 25% higher APR cards are ditching those products and flocking over to TomoCredit.”

“We are excited to be a part of TomoCredit’s journey as it works to democratize access to credit and build a more inclusive credit landscape,” said Alice Vilma, Co-Portfolio Manager of Morgan Stanley’s Next Level Fund that primarily invests in early-stage technology and technology-enabled companies with women or diverse members as part of the founding team.

How was TomoCredit born?

TomoCredit was founded by young immigrant founders – Dmitry Kashlev and Kristy Kim in 2018 in San Francisco. The founders experienced the pain of getting a credit card for a foreign nation, being immigrants themselves. Kristy, the Berkeley Grad was denied a loan five times but she set out to disrupt the credit industry.

In the current world scenario, millions of Americans cannot access affordable credit due to the lack of credit history. Without good credit, insurance rates, loans, and more become difficult to access.

TomoCredit is dedicated to building the smartest card that does not need a credit score for approval. With the TomoCredit World Elite Credit Card, customers can increase the rate at which their credit score improves.

Disrupts credit industry

Its proprietary underwriting algorithm called Tomo Score has successfully identified high potential borrowers without a credit score. Its first product, the TomoCredit credit card requires no credit check, no deposit, no APR, and no feeds.

To date, the company has helped over 40 million credit-invisible immigrants and international students with no credit history. With huge demands, the company witnessed a whopping 1,000% in revenue last year. While the number of cardholders has not been disclosed, the company claims to have received 2.5 million applications over time.

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