Oxygen, a neobank for independents and small businesses, in talks to raise funds at over $ 500 million valuation – TechCrunch

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Oxygen, a startup that offers digital banking services to freelancers and micro and small businesses, is in talks to raise a new round at a valuation of more than $ 500 million, two sources familiar with the matter told me.

The San Francisco-based company is at an advanced stage of talks to raise around $ 70 million, the sources said. London-based Tribe Ventures is in talks to lead Oxygen’s Series B, the sources added, requesting anonymity as details are private.

Banks in the United States – and elsewhere – have traditionally refused to serve individuals without traditional jobs and without a constant stream of wages.

Hussein Ahmed, who previously worked at Amazon, himself faced this problem when he started working as a freelance consultant for other startups. “That’s when I stumbled upon the market segment that we serve today,” he said in a podcast last year. Ahmed was working from a WeWork and realized that “everyone around me, from photographers to real estate brokers to accountants, was facing the same problem.”

It was then that Ahmed launched Oxygen. The startup offers consumers and small businesses accounts with no monthly fees. These accounts, which are FDIC insured, can be operated without a minimum balance and come with a Visa debit card.

The startup, which counts Y Combinator and Runa Capital among its funders, has accumulated more than 600,000 clients.

Oxygen declined to comment on the fundraising talks, but through a spokesperson Ahmed said the startup had experienced “massive growth in 2021” and had increased revenue 10-fold this year. “We have ongoing conversations about how best to fund our future plans and will comment when we can. “


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