Digital banking startup Majority raises new round led by Valar Ventures

LONDON (Reuters) - Majority, a Houston and Stockholm-based digital banking provider for immigrant communities in the United States said on Tuesday that it had raised $19 million in seed funding.

The round was led by New York-based Valar Ventures, the venture capital firm founded by Peter Thiel, with participation from Avid Ventures, Heartcore Capital and a group of former startup founders, the company said.

Majority will use the cash injection to grow the business and expand to new migrant communities in US, CEO Magnus Larsson said in an interview.

“We’ve just opened an office in Miami, and now we’re building up in Atlanta, Georgia and preparing for more cities,” Larsson said. “We’re also growing the team at all locations, especially our network of on-the-ground advisors who provide culturally relevant, in-person support to help potential members sign up.”

Founded in 2019, Majority is one of several new digital banks focused on providing services to communities that have been traditionally overlooked by mainstream banks.

Such startups include Daylight, an online banking provider focused on the LGBTQ community, First Boulevard and Greenwood, both focused on serving Black Americans and Cheese Financial aimed at the Asian community.

Among its services, for $5 a month, Majority offers users a checking account connected to a Visa debit card, remittances, international calling, and in-person native language advisers.

The company began by offering financial services to the Nigerian community in Houston, later expanding to Cubans in Miami. It hires employees from the same communities to act as local advisers.

Reporting by Anna Irrera