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US fintech Adro raises $1.5M to make financial services accessible to international students and workers

Adro founders
Picture credits: Adro

With no Social Security Number and limited US credit history, international students and workers struggle to access basic banking upon arrival. Adro, a New York-based fintech offers newcomers an easy on-ramp to move money, spend, and save, right when they land. 

Adro has snapped $1.5 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Era with participation from Ex Nihilo Ventures and the Cornell Tech Syndicate. The fintech will use the funding to scale its engineering team and accelerate the development of the platform. It will operate in all states and districts in the US at the time of its launch later this year. 

Helps international students and workers

Founded by Amarildo Gjondrekaj (formerly of Mastercard, Harness), Sara Schmitt (Amazon, Epic), and Kevin DeArmond (Uber, Titan), Adro makes financial services more accessible for international students and workers. 

Adro will offer checking and savings accounts, and debit and credit cards. It will also provide partial reimbursement on the costs associated with international money transfers, and allow customers to start building credit from the day they arrive in the US. 

Protects from scams 

Through its partnerships with university student services, international student offices, and academic departments, the company provides comprehensive educational resources to help students improve financial literacy and avoid scams.

“In increasing access to banking services for a hugely underserved market, Adro has the potential to make a real impact on people’s lives,” said Jasper Lau, CEO at Era. “When financial literacy increases, everyone wins. We look forward to supporting Adro as they scale.”

“Once in the U.S., internationals face significant barriers to starting their lives in a new country, despite having cash available. It can take weeks to open the accounts they need, like getting a debit card and credit card. This makes it that much harder to find an apartment, rent a car and pay for living expenses,” said Amarildo Gjondrekaj, CEO and Co-founder at Adro. “We’re giving students the financial tools they need to get settled in, and making it accessible the moment they get off the plane.”

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