International

Startup Offers Financial Services For X-Border Students

SelfScore Closes New Funding Round

FinTech startup SelfScore, which launched the first dedicated Mastercard credit card designed exclusively for international students in the U.S., announced the closing of a $7 million Series A funding round on Wednesday (Aug. 24).

The funding round was led by Pelion Venture Partners, with participation from Accel Partners and Aspect Ventures. With the new capital in place, SelfScore’s total funding reached over $15 million. The company said it will use the funds to expand its credit card portfolio, fast-track new product development, boost its presence on U.S. college campuses and grow its internal team.

“We’re thrilled by the demand we’re seeing from both international students but also from institutions like University of California Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA and more that have expressed interest in partnering with us to make this a reality for deserving students who don’t have access to traditional credit,” Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO and cofounder of SelfScore, said in a press release.

Kapadia explained that the goal of SelfScore is to educate more international students about the importance of their credit, while also empowering them to build it up. Despite the fact that foreign students are pre-screened by universities and the U.S. government to verify their identities and their ability to pay for their studies, these students are often overlooked by national credit bureaus.

“It’s a matter of fairness,” Michael Hallinan, CPO and cofounder of SelfScore, added. “National credit bureaus and scores like FICO are leaving people out of the credit system. We owe it to society to develop open access to quality consumer data and to develop better measures of creditworthiness.”

Since launching earlier this year, SelfScore reported tripled growth in credit card signups month over month and doubled the number of its employees.

Blake Modersitzki, managing partner at Pelion Venture Partners, stated: “SelfScore’s unique data analytics and machine-learning approach is a game-changer for unleashing financial freedom with today’s generation of international students, a group who has contributed as much to America’s innovation as anyone over the past half-century.”

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