Fleri Inc., a personal finance company for immigrants known widely for the FleriHealth product which enables immigrants to buy affordable healthcare plans for their loved ones back home, will join the Techstars Toronto Accelerator Program starting this October.
Techstars is a seed accelerator that runs an intensive mentorship-driven program for founders and early-stage startups and entrepreneurs. Fleri will join 10 other startups in the Techstars Toronto 2021 cohort as it sets its sights on global expansion. The Techstars Toronto Accelerator Program is designed to provide mentorship, funding, and access to its network, beginning with a Demo Day at the end of the guided program. When selected, startups will be able to pitch to a carefully curated group of investors.
Since it launched in 2020, Fleri, which was founded by Ghanaian-born entrepreneur Samuel Baddoo, has kept the immigrant experience at the forefront of its mission. The company focuses on providing solutions and products that uniquely empower immigrants to take control of their financial lives. Knowing that 83% of the time, immigrants will send money to cover a health emergency faced by a dependent relative back home, Fleri released its first product: FleriHealth.
FleriHealth enables immigrants, beginning with those from Africa, to directly sponsor healthcare plans for their loved ones and families back home rather than sending traditional money transfers.
In their pilot year, FleriHealth has enabled more than 220 family members to access quality healthcare in Ghana and Nigeria.
Fleri partnered with five health insurance companies and other healthcare providers in its pilot markets giving the beneficiaries of immigrants access to healthcare benefits such as traditional health insurance coverage and more personalized care options.
The company also provides a concierge care service powered by 400 nurses for families of immigrants from Nigeria.
According to Baddoo, Fleri enhances peace of mind for immigrants, given the knowledge that their loved ones have healthcare coverage around the clock and by eliminating most of the fees and transaction costs paid through traditional money transfer services.
Fleri’s digital platform enables immigrant users to protect their loved ones back home without sacrificing their own
financial wellness. Fleri customers and beneficiaries also receive health alerts and wellness reports to track the care given underscoring the platform’s ability to enhance access to life saving information.
Fleri, which means “to Flourish” in Haitian Creole was born out of Baddoo’s own experiences as an immigrant in the United States. After losing his Grandmother last year due to the challenges within the healthcare system in his country of birth, Ghana, he set out to create a solution that will help fellow migrants avoid the same pain – one that immigrants in Canada know so well.
“Toronto is regarded as the most immigrant-concentrated city in the world, with 52 percent of our population being foreign-born,” says Sunil Sharma, Managing Director of Techstars Toronto.
“When we met the team at Fleri it became clear to us that they are solving such a fundamental problem in the minds of immigrants, how to ensure the health of their loved ones back home, no matter where they live.
Although Fleri’s first focus is in providing healthcare coverage for families of migrants living in the diaspora, Sharma acknowledges that Fleri’s potential goes beyond healthcare.
“Fleri has a massive opportunity to grow its products beyond funding healthcare via remittances into full empowerment of immigrants to take control of their financial lives,” says Sharma.
“Immigrants in Toronto constantly think about their loved ones back home and always want to do more to support them. Fleri finally allows them to take action and make an immediate difference in their lives.”
As for expanding its operations, Baddoo says, “Fleri’s focus on empowering immigrants to flourish financially will be matched in turn by Toronto’s vibrant diversity and Canada’s reputation for being immigrant-friendly. This combination will create the perfect catalyst for Fleri’s growth, enabling us to develop relevant financial products with which immigrants will support their loved ones back home and enhance their own financial wellness.”