The financial services industry is undergoing a fundamental shift, as new technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence are challenging the status quo. With a customer base that is increasingly demanding more digital services, most legacy banks are struggling to keep up with the incumbents of today, let alone tomorrow. This is why everyone is keeping an eye on neobanks like Lili, who are actively working to disrupt the industry with blockchain-based solutions.
Lili, a neobank that offers its products and services to the self-employed, announced today that it has raised $55 million in a Series B funding round. This news brings the total fundraising to $80 million, although the company would not disclose the valuation at this time. The round was led by Group 11, a venture capital firm specializing in financial technology startups, as well as Target Global and AltaIR. The company was founded just over a year ago, in January 2020, and has already amassed over 200,000 users in a short period of time.
Appealing to the freelance target group
With the COVID-19 pandemic having drastically changed the economy, much of the population has had to rely on freelance work to survive for the past year. Those who had to give up their regular jobs temporarily or were suddenly laid off had to use other skills to earn a living. A large proportion of the hardest-hit workers were women, so it’s not surprising that over 60% of Lilii users are women.
To meet the needs of these new entrepreneurs, Lili was created – a flexible and fully digital financial management solution. As a neobank, Lili has developed a mobile application that allows users to manage their finances without having to visit physical branches. Through a simple and clear interface, customers can track their spending, budget, and make sure they’re saving enough to cover their taxes, among other features. In the absence of a traditional employer keeping track of all this information for their employees, the services offered by Lili reduce the burden on new freelancers who may not have sufficient financial knowledge. To make customers’ lives easier, Lili offers both personal and business banking services, giving users all their financial information in one easy-to-access system.
Integration with other services
As a next step, Lili co-founder and CEO Lilac Bar David has expressed a desire to integrate third-party applications into the Lili system. Currently, Lili already supports Venmo and QuickBooks, applications commonly used by freelancers to invoice. In addition to this kind of integration, Lili is also looking to expand its product offerings and plans to launch a new lending product soon that will allow freelancers to access credit and other services. This credit offer is particularly important for freelancers, who often find it difficult to obtain money due to a lack of stable income. The company currently employs 40 people in its offices in Israel and New York, and plans to double that number to bring new products to market.
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