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Partnering with nsave: Trusted Accounts, For Everyone

Amer, Abdallah and their team are bringing safe, stable offshore accounts to the people who need them most.

In places like the U.S. and Europe, most of us take for granted the institutions that keep our financial systems functioning. From the central banks that issue currency and set monetary policy, to the regulations that ensure we can go to an ATM and withdraw what we’ve deposited—there are countless moving parts operating behind the scenes. And together, they form the bedrock of not just how we store our money, but how we build businesses, how we borrow and how we invest in growth.

In countries with distressed economies, though, life is markedly different. People work hard to save and build security for their future—but dysfunctional banking systems prevent them from preserving that wealth. Most families can’t access basic services such as loans and insurance, and decades of economic and political instability have driven deep distrust in the few options that do exist. With monthly withdrawals capped as low as $400, some depositors have resorted to holding up banks for their own money. And inflation ranges from 20% to 200% and higher—enough to rapidly erode your life savings, if not completely wipe it out.

In theory, the relative stability of currencies such as USD, Euros and GBP offer an escape from these runaway devaluations. But here again, access is severely limited. For the wealthy—those who can afford a million-dollar minimum deposit—such funds can be held in an offshore account. Everyone else must keep their savings either in local banks, where they’re subject to strict limits on foreign currency holdings; with relatives overseas; or literally under their mattress.

But now, everyday people have the same secure, stable options once reserved for the wealthy few, thanks to nsave.

Led by co-founders Amer Baroudi and Abdallah AbuHashem—two Rhodes scholars who know firsthand what it’s like to grow up in a struggling economy—the team at nsave believes everyone deserves a trusted way to store their money. Under Switzerland’s updated regulations for digital financial services, they’ve designed an inclusive verification platform that takes “know your customer” technology beyond traditional data like postal codes that don’t apply to everyone. Customers can continue to live, work and spend in their local communities, with local currency, while their funds stay safe and protected in USD, Euros or GBP. It’s a secure offshore account that everyone can afford.

Long before they met at Oxford, nsave’s co-founders lived through the very problems they’re now solving for their customers. Before becoming a Rhodes scholar and founding multiple companies, Amer watched his father lose his life savings to rampant inflation as their family fled conflict in Syria. Abdallah, meanwhile, made his way from Gaza to a master’s in CS at Stanford on his way to Oxford. Together, they have the perfect complementary skill sets to grow their business, and they share a burning intensity about the problem they’re solving. For Amer and Abdallah, nsave is about much more than making money. It’s a calling to create a financial system that works for everyday people.

We were grateful for the opportunity to lead their seed round last year and welcome them to Arc, Sequoia’s catalyst for pre-seed and seed-stage founders, and our conviction has only deepened as we’ve gotten to know the team. To build a product compliant with strict financial regulations is no easy task, not to mention building partnerships with banks. Yet nsave has done just that, and we are eager to see more users reap the benefits now that the app has gone live.

But as impressed as we are by nsave’s current offerings—including hard currency accounts, payments, fraud protection and international transfers—they aren’t stopping here. The team’s long-term roadmap includes a full suite of financial services, with the goal of further improving financial resilience and equality for people in struggling economies. Amer, Abdallah and their team are building something that could ultimately give hundreds of millions of people a new sense of control over the savings—and the future—they’ve worked so hard to build.