Homeis is a new startup that wants to make it easier for immigrants to connect with a familiar culture in a new country — and it’s now closer to achieving that goal. On Tuesday the company announced that it raised a $12 million Series A.
The company has built a social network that connects immigrants in order to build a sense of community. The platform allows users to add friends, create lists, search for recommendations, find events and join groups. It’s the first platform of its kind, according to its founders, and comes at a time when immigrant support systems are especially needed.
Homeis CEO and co-founder Ran Harnevo said that the recent amplification of anti-immigrant sentiments motivates him further toward his company’s goal.
“Empowering immigrants is a personal mission for me, especially at a time of increased tension, hostility and skepticism towards immigration. We believe that immigration is a force of positivity, diversity, and tolerance. Immigrants are hard workers, innovators, and an essential part of our society’s fabric,” Harnevo told Built In.
He continued: “The political climate just reinforces our passion to empower these great communities, and help immigrants support each other. All Homeis employees are immigrants, many with multiple nationalities, and we are all here to enable and create technology that will serve the people who need it the most.”
But Homeis doesn’t want that technology to exclude anyone.
“The service was created for all foreign-born people, no matter how new, old and tech-savvy they are. Our vision is to touch the lives of every immigrant around the globe, and we’ve built a simple friendly experience to cater to them all. We’ve seen a diverse audience from day one,” he said.
Harnevo is an immigrant himself. He started Homeis to serve immigrants and “use technology for a positive social cause.”
Homeis currently serves Indian, French and Israeli immigrants in different cities across the U.S. but it’s planning to use the new funding to expand its presence even further. In September the company will launch its network for Mexican-born immigrants in the U.S., then other Spanish-speaking populations at the end of the year. In 2020, the company will expand to serve immigrants who move to Europe.
Over the past two years, Homeis tried to perfect its product, only launching it for select communities. Over 400,000 immigrants within those communities have used Homeis, but the company hopes to reach tens of millions of people by expanding to more immigrant populations.