It’s not a converted industrial warehouse in Brooklyn. Or a stately, century-old building in the Flatiron.
But YC-backed Regalii’s atypical office location up in the Dominican-heavy Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan has given it plenty of insights into its working-class immigrant customer base.
The startup, co-founded by several Latino founders who personally knew the hassles of sending money home, focuses on remittances.
“We camped out in Washington Heights, did deep customer research and we were surprised to see that people didn’t want to just send money to the Dominican Republic,” said CTO Naysawn Naderi. “They wanted to pay bills directly. The whole thing really confused us at first.”
So the company put together several deals with utility and other service providers in the Dominican Republic to let customers directly pay their families’ bills. That has brought them to more than $1 million in net revenues annually through their fees and cuts on exchange rates. They’ve also expanded to about 10 countries mostly in Latin America, with the largest market in Mexico.