Kadmos raises €29m in Series A funding round led by Blossom Capital to streamline payment processes for cross-border workers
July 11, 2022
The Kadmos founding team
Kadmos’s end-to-end solution means employers can cut expenses and administrative work while workers can save transaction and remittance costs when receiving salaries and forwarding savings to their families
The Series A funding builds on significant levels of demand for the product with several high-profile shipping companies already lined-up as customers, all desiring a single tool that streamlines and digitalizes the salary payment process
Kadmos is using this new round of investment to significantly grow its 30-person team and further invest in product and technology development
11 July, Berlin: Kadmos, the end-to-end salary payments platform for cross-border employees, has raised €29 million in Series A funding round led by Blossom Capital. The investment round, which follows an €8.3m Seed round in December, also included existing investors Addition and Atlantic Labs.
The funding follows significant levels of demand for the product. 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 new financing will be used for technology and product development. Kadmos is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the growing global cross-border B2C payment volume projected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2022, involving 169 million migrant workers across the world, according to the UN.
Revolutionizing the cross-border salary payment process
Kadmos was founded to tackle the severe restrictions placed on the financial freedom of cross-border employees and to use modern financial technology to allow 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 to help them protect and secure their salaries so they are able to remit their pay home to their families.
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 unfavorable 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.
In the form of seamless and easy-to-use web and mobile apps, Kadmos has developed a secure salary payments platform for shipping companies that enables 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.
Restoring financial freedoms to migrant workers
Kadmos provides each employee with access to the mobile app, where salary payments are instantly paid and which allows employees to transfer money home or use a debit card to spend or withdraw cash seamlessly. 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 was founded in February 2021 by MIT graduates Justus Schmueser and Sasha Makarovych. Schmueser had previously managed corporate finance at McKinsey, while Makarovych built and led data science teams in the video games industry. The pair created Kadmos after a relative of Makarovych’s, who worked as a seafarer, told him of the complexity and hardship involved in getting paid. Following further research, they realized the immense need for fintech solutions designed for the shipping industry. The team quickly grew with key hires including experts in product and engineering with Sergio Lopez from fintech startup Moss and Philipp Decurtins from global tech consultancy Capgemini. By joining together expertise in both financial services and technology, Kadmos is perfectly placed to develop the category-defining fintech product for migrant workers.
Having now proved the success of its initial product in the shipping industry, Kadmos is looking to use the new round of investment to significantly grow its 30-person team and further invest in its technology and product. This includes 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.
Justus Schmueser, Kadmos co-founder said: “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 speed and size of our latest funding round underline the potential for our platform and we’re honored to partner with such a reputable and prestigious venture fund in Blossom.”
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.”
Alex Lim, Managing Partner of Blossom Capital said: “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.”
Kadmos is a Berlin-based Fintech on a mission to make the salary journey of millions of migrant workers more transparent, convenient, and less expensive. The startup was founded in 2021 by MIT graduates Justus Schmueser and Sasha Makarovych with the aim to bring fintech into industries riddled with opaque mark-ups, kickbacks, and physical cash. Kadmos provides companies with a simple, low-cost, and secure method for international salary transfers, while every migrant worker receives a digital wallet as well as a connected debit card to remit or directly spend money.
About Blossom Capital:
Blossom Capital is Europe’s largest dedicated Series A fund renowned for its high-conviction strategy and relentless belief and commitment to the region’s most visionary founders. It leverages local roots with global connections to deliver an undeniable advantage for founders across consumer internet, crypto, cybersecurity, developer tools and open source software, enterprise SaaS, and marketplaces. Its investments include Checkout.com, Moonpay, Pigment, and Tines. Find out more at www.blossomcap.com.