Today (Tuesday), Lili, an Israeli fintech startup developing mobile financing tools for freelancers and small businesses in the U.S., announced the closing of a $55 million Series B funding round. The investment was led by investor Dovi Frances’s Group 11 - the third time the VC firm has led investment in less than a year.
Up to 200K customers a year
Lili’s complete solution offers freelancers and SMBs in the U.S. the option to open a digital bank account, equipped with relevant financial tools for these businesses. Lili users receive a debit card with zero fees on cash withdrawal, overdraft, and international transactions. Since the beginning of the year, Lili reports a 700% increase in transactions completed on its platform, which actively manages nearly 100,000 different accounts.
Lili provides freelancers with digital tools to improve their account management, such as a tool to catalogue users’ expenses and another to save predetermined percentages aside for tax purposes. The company predicts that using its system saves customers upto $1,700 and around 60 hours in time allocated to banking issues every year.
The Israeli startup also reported doubling its customer base over the last six months, now including close to 200,000 active customers - transferring through Lili over half a billion dollars annually.
We asked Lilac Bar David, CEO and co-founder, what led the company to a third funding round - raising in total $80 million - in less than a year? She noted that the freelancer sector - a key target of Lili - will make up half of the American labor market by the end of the year. “The round will help us expand our product offering to a market of customers, who are yearning for innovative but simple solutions.”
And what about the future, considering the company’s rapid growth? Bar David can’t commit to one plan, going public, M&A, or SPAC merger - she would only say that “we are focused on developing a product to solve the challenges freelancers face today.”
She also added that the three years worth of funding, which were raised in under a year, will be used to recruit to the Israeli R&D team, as well as expanding marketing efforts in the U.S.
Dovi Frances, whose Group 11 led the previous two rounds in the fintech startup, said “Lili is currently the only fintech platform designed to address the needs of this rapidly growing sector of entrepreneurs.” He added: “We anticipate the freelancer economy will continue to robustly grow well beyond the pandemic tailwinds. Lili is poised to see exponential growth by continuing to offer this demographic essential, effective and intuitive tools to manage what was previously an extremely complex and inefficient way of doing business.”
Lili was founded in 2018 by Bar David and CTO Liran Zelkha, previously of digital banking app Pepper. The company has 40 employees, split between NYC and Israel offices. Lili expects to hire an additional 50 employees by the end of the year.