Fintech startup Oxygen raises $17M in Series A round

Digital banking startup ReliefClub Inc., which does business as Oxygen, said today it has raised $17 million in a new round of funding.

Runa Capital led the Series A round, which also included participation from S7V, 1984.vc, EFG Hermes, Rucker Park and Inventures, as well as celebrity and prominent fintech investors such as Frank Strauss, of the Private & Commercial Bank for Deutsche Bank AG, Plaid Inc. co-founder William Hockey, Ankur Nagpal, Peter Treadway and NFL wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Oxygen has built a digital banking platform and mobile application that it says provides flexible financial services to those who have multiple income streams, contract work or freelance working arrangements.

The platform provides a full range of banking services through its mobile app, which runs on both iOS and Android devices. It provides users with credit cards and debit cards and enables them to send and receive money, apply for a virtual credit card, make payments in stores, apply for loans and perform various other banking-related tasks directly from the app. As a bonus for users, Oxygen doesn’t charge monthly fees, which means no overdraft, late or minimum balance fees are imposed.

Users can choose from a personal or business account, and they can top up their account any time by using GreenDot locations at stores such as Walmart or Walgreens. Oxygen has partnered with Visa Inc. on its Fast Track program that enables users to benefit from the reach and security of Visa’s network. It also leverages Visa’s real-time push payment solution Visa Direct to ensure users can be paid fast.

The company launched its services in January 2020 and says it has enjoyed tremendous growth in the past year, partly thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. It claims more than 125,000 accounts have been opened, with a 969-times revenue increase, though it doesn’t provide specific numbers and that growth is no doubt off a small base.

“This investment not only validates what we’ve built but also enables us to continue pursuing our vision of building financial tools that integrate seamlessly with the digital world of today and delight our customers,” said Oxygen Chief Executive Hussein Ahmed. “We founded Oxygen because we wanted to provide financial services in the same way people interact with technology in their everyday lives.”

Oxygen said it plans to use the funding to scale up its team and offer new financial products and services to users in order to accelerate its growth.

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