Adro closes $1.5M pre-seed to give U.S. newcomers improved access to financial services

April 9, 2024

Adro, a New York-based fintech making financial services more accessible for international students and workers, announced today its $1.5M pre-seed funding round led by Era, with participation from Ex Nihilo Ventures and the Cornell Tech Syndicate.

With no Social Security Number and limited U.S. credit history, international students and workers struggle to access basic banking upon arrival. Led by Amarildo Gjondrekaj (formerly of Mastercard, Harness), Sara Schmitt (Amazon, Epic) and Kevin DeArmond (Uber, Titan), Adro offers newcomers an easy on-ramp to move money, spend and save, right when they land.

Left to right: Adro co-founders Kevin DeArmond, Sara Schmitt and Amarildo Gjondrekaj

“Once in the U.S., internationals face significant barriers to starting their lives in a new country, despite having cash available. It can take weeks to open the accounts they need, like getting a debit card and credit card. This makes it that much harder to find an apartment, rent a car and pay for living expenses,” said Amarildo Gjondrekaj, CEO and Co-founder at Adro. “We’re giving students the financial tools they need to get settled in, and making it accessible the moment they get off the plane.

”With a planned launch for later this year, Adro will offer checking and savings accounts, as well as debit and credit cards. Adro will also provide partial reimbursement on the costs associated with international money transfers, and allow customers to start building credit from the day they arrive in the U.S.

Through its partnerships with university student services, international student offices and academic departments, Adro provides comprehensive educational resources to help students improve financial literacy and avoid scams.

“In increasing access to banking services for a hugely underserved market, Adro has the potential to make a real impact on people’s lives,” said Jasper Lau, CEO at Era. “When financial literacy increases, everyone wins. We look forward to supporting Adro as they scale.”

“We believe that having equitable access to financial services can help newcomers find stability and thrive. We’re proud to be an early investor of Adro.” said Kevin Hannan, Chief Investment Officer at Ex Nihilo Ventures.

Adro will use the funding to scale its engineering team and accelerate development of the platform.

Adro will operate in all states and districts in the United States at launch. For early access, join the waitlist at

For universities looking to increase their on-time tuition payments and help students spend responsibly, visit

About Adro

Adro is a technology company helping internationals unblock access to financial services so they can live like a local. Based in New York, Adro is backed by investors who deeply believe in equal access and opportunity for newcomers arriving in the U.S.

Adro was selected to join the 2024 Hudson Valley Venture Hub Accelerator at SUNY New Paltz. Adro is a graduate of Westchester County’s Element 46 Tech Accelerator and a member of CELA Innovation. To learn more, visit

About Era

Founded by Jasper Lau, Era is a technology-focused investment firm backed by 30+ industry-leading, multi-billion dollar families who represent $500B+ across 25 industries in 19 countries. Era harnesses the collective knowledge and strategic capital of our families to invest in and build category-defining technology companies.

About Ex Nihilo Ventures

Ex Nihilo Ventures is a private multi-family investment fund, partnering with early-stage startups to help grow innovative, game-changing businesses. Ex Nihilo brings a deeply collaborative approach to its portfolio companies to drive high value impact globally.

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