Maza raises $8m to expand credit access to US immigrants
Maza, a fintech that grants tax identification for documented and undocumented immigrants in the US, raises $8m seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Maza, a fintech company that provides immigrants with a tax identity to build financial history, has raised $8m in a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
"Our goal is helping people achieve the American dream," Luciano Arango, Maza CEO and co-founder told AltFi. For many, Arango said that is buying a home, and while the co-founder said that Maza cannot give users a mortgage, their product can help bring the “pieces together” by providing a tax ID number and access to opening a bank account which helps users build towards that dream.
Maza is able to provide immigrants with access to individual taxpayer identification numbers, otherwise known as ITINs, to access banking and credit in the US. Maza is able to offer customers the identification number by working with the Internal Revenue System, or IRS, as a certified acceptance agent.
While Maza has been operating in stealth since 2022, it reported having 50,000 active members already utilizing the platform, some of which are reportedly using the ITIN product, offered through the fintech, to mortgage a home.
Other investors include SV Angel, Box Group, Restive Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and independent investors such as Anre Williams, CEO of American Express National Bank, and William Hockey, co-founder of Plaid.
“Maza has identified a massive need here in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to help them address it in a meaningful way,” said Seema Amble, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz said, “attaining success in the U.S. takes more than mere residency; the key is to actively participate in the free market.
American consumers may be most familiar with social security numbers, or SSN. The individual taxpayer identification numbers are similar to that but used for those who are non-US citizens engaging in the US market.
“The ITIN has the same format, it's three digits, two digits, four digits, it’s the same format, except that it starts with nine,” Arango told AltFi. Maza, as a certified acceptance agent, automates the process of obtaining the ITIN process for users by certifying documents and making sure files are compliant and renewed with the IRS.
According to the fintech, granting ITINs could unlock financial access for over 15 million immigrants in the US, who are currently blocked from the traditional system due to a lack of SSN, or identifying number. Maza told AltFi that its platform allows members to open a bank account through a partnership with Visa and Blue Ridge Bank.
“Something that really motivates us that we think about every day is that as of today, we've enabled over $41 million in payments,” Arango told AltFi.