Berlin-based Kadmos lands €29 million to streamline payments for migrant workers

Fintech startup Kadmos has just secured €29 million for its innovative platform streamlining payment processes for migrant workers. Based in Berlin, Kadmos’ platform means employers can cut expenses and admin work whilst workers have an improved salary experience. 

It’s reported that there are over 169 million migrant workers across the world. People who love their hometowns for jobs in industries such as seafaring, construction and agriculture to provide a better life for their families. However, these workers have, on a whole, faced issues with payment processes and high remittance costs. On a mission to change this, Kadmos has just secured €29 million in Series A funding. 

The capital was led by Blossom with participation from existing investors Addition and Atlantic Labs. 

Founded in 2021 by Justus Schmueser and Sasha Makarovych, the startup was born with the vision to tackle the restrictions placed on the financial freedom of cross-border employees. Using modern financial technology, the product allows migrant workers to have a streamlined salary experience, just as they would expect working in their home country. Migrant workers have so far received little attention from the recent fintech boom and Kadmos’ mission is to bring the latest financial technology to these underserved communities of workers. 

Justus Schmueser, Kadmos co-founder explained: “The financial restrictions placed on migrant workers are truly shocking. Employees need to wait days or weeks for their hard-earned salaries to reach their families and are then forced into paying exorbitant transaction fees or have to carry large sums of cash at their own risk. At Kadmos, we are working to change the status quo through cutting-edge financial technology and ensuring the hard-working people who power the global economy can keep more of their well-deserved salaries

The traditional financial system presents employers with unnecessary complexity when paying salaries across the globe, and often requires employers to pay large fees to simply transfer salary payments. For example, the shipping industry is still dominated by expensive, slow, and untransparent payment processes. Many shipping companies resort to bringing significant amounts of cash on board to pay their employees, which is both costly and insecure. Additionally, seafarers face unfavourable exchange rates and high fees to send money home to their families and often wait days or even weeks to get access to their salaries. 

Enter Kadmos

The German startup has developed seamless and easy-to-use web and mobile apps which provide a secure salary payments platform for shipping companies, enabling them to efficiently pay their crews. Kadmos provides seamless integration with the Kadmos web application, where companies can automatically add their employees through an API-connection to various crewing software. 

For employees, the app is easy to access and salaries are instantly paid. It means workers can then choose to transfer money home or to use a debit card or withdraw cash – they have the power back over their hard-earned money. 

Sasha Makarovych, Kadmos co-founder said: “At Kadmos, our mission is simple, to make being paid internationally as easy as being paid domestically. In an ever-globalized world, it’s criminal that it is so difficult for cross-border employers and their employees to pay and be paid. We’ve been taken aback by the level of demand for our product, particularly as geopolitical crises continue to cause issues around cross-border payments. To have Blossom’s support will mean that we can continue to rapidly expand our team and the product.”

Digitalizing the payment process means the funds can be kept in secure currencies within the Kadmos app, ensuring low transaction fees and market-leading foreign exchange rates. This ensures workers keep more of their salary when they send money home. These benefits have a knock-on effect for employers as they can better attract and retain employees by using an efficient payment process like Kadmos. 

Kadmos is already working with several high-profile shipping companies and has built a robust waitlist ahead of full-scale customer onboarding this summer. This fresh investment boost will be used to grow the team further and develop its technology and product – including the prospect of offering additional financial services to its users. 

Kadmos will also expand into other industries with similar salary payment complexities such as construction, healthcare, and hospitality. Through this, Kadmos is on a mission to transform the way millions of people across the globe, who are underbanked and underserved, access financial services.

Alex Lim, Managing Partner of Blossom Capital added: “From the moment we met Justus and Sasha we couldn’t help but be drawn to their scale of ambition and drive. With outdated banking practices and multiple intermediaries that charge excessive fees, it’s clear that the process for cross-border payments is broken and Kadmos’ fintech platform is exactly the technology to fix it. 2022 looks set to be an exciting year for the team as they look to grow the product into new verticals and we’re delighted to be joining them on this journey.”