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Founded in 2017, the New York company says that more than 400,000 immigrants have used Homeis’ app since its launch. Currently, the platform serves Israeli, French, and Indian communities in select cities across the U.S. The company plans to use the money in part to expand the communities it serves, with the goal of adding Hispanic and Latino communities in the U.S. later this year, and expanding to Europe in 2020.
Israeli immigrant Ran Harnevo co-founded Homeis, which aims to essentially serve as a support system for immigrants, and do things like help them find new friends, jobs and recommendations for local services, providers and events via its “communities.”
Users are asked to provide their country of origin and current locale. All content is created and vetted by the community itself, based on its shared culture, the company said.
“Our focus is on building the most effective and authentic resource for foreign-born communities around the globe. So for now, Homeis is focused on growth as the highest priority,” Harnevo, who serves as the company’s CEO, wrote via email. “However, immigrants have a lot of specific needs that we believe the platform can support down the road such as wiring money back home, finding better insurance, visa and legal guidance, and many other services.”
Harnevo related an experience of two women within the Indian Homeis community in New York who managed to reconnect through the Homeis app in New York City after 22 years of not seeing each other.
Harnevo founded Homeis after founding 5min Media, an online syndication platform that sold to AOL for $65 million in 2010. He then served as global president of AOL’s video division before starting Homeis.
The company’s other backers include Abstract VC, The Chernin Group, Samsung Next, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, AOL’s former CEO Tim Armstrong, Taboola CEO Adam Singolda, and others. Homeis had previously raised a $4 million seed round in late 2017, which was also led by Spark Capital & Canaan.
Down the line, the company aims to “be heavily integrated with fintech and digital services” for immigrants.
“Our vision as a company is to build a diversified business model that is not relying on advertising, which will be integrated as well,” Harnevo said. “Immigrants are facing a lot of challenges that we know from firsthand experience. Marrying them with the best service providers who understand their special needs will be the core of our monetization strategy.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias