By Nancy Dahlberg
Milo, a Miami-based digital banking and home mortgage startup serving international consumers, announced Wednesday it has raised $6 million in seed financing.
Milo was founded in late 2018 by Josip Rupena, who identified a market need while working with both institutions and international clients as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley. He found that even high-net worth international clients could have difficulty securing a US home loan because of traditional banks' domestically focused processes, and learned they weren't alone.
Last year, after about a year in development, Milo became the first company to do a fully remote digital closing for an international consumer.
The startup launched with home loans because only about 30% of international consumers are ultimately able to secure US home loans, and those that do often pay higher interest rates or suffer cumbersome customer experiences, said Rupena, Milo's CEO. Longer term, that's also a market segment Milo believes it can target with additional financial solutions and banking services. "Our mission is to reimagine how global consumers access financial solutions in the US – in a way that actually caters to them.”
To date, Milo has processed more than $100 million in loan requests. “The interest rates that we offer are comparable to banks, and our processes are significantly easier and faster,” Rupena said.
To support that growth, Milo's team has also doubled, now numbering about 20 and split between Miami and Colombia.
The team Milo has assembled includes people from Mastercard, Citibank and American Express, Rupena said. “Our VP of engineering was the lead technologist at Carecloud. We have people that ran banks that are part of our organization.”
Rupena expects to double the team again by the end of the year. “We’ve been keeping our head down and growing our company, and we’re hiring. We’re all-in on Miami.”
Indeed, Milo currently is running six job postings on Refresh Miami, for positions including a senior-level software engineer, QA engineer and UX/UI designer.
The seed round was led by fintech specialist QED Investors, with participation from MetaProp and 10X Capital. The funding will support continued technological investment and team growth for Milo. Fintech and proptech, both sectors that Milo plays in, have been showing strength in South Florida venture capital in the past year.
"Global consumers' financial needs are constantly evolving, creating a demand for unique and flexible solutions that support them in reaching their goals and achieving financial wellness," said Matt Burton of QED Investors. "We're excited that Milo is at the center of this transformation and that QED can play a supporting role."
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