Startups serving immigrants

Rebecca Liu
2 min readMay 21, 2022

5/27 update: I just launched a Slack community for people who are interested in startups that serve immigrants! If this is interesting to you, please click here to join. All are welcome!

I wanted to share some research I’ve been conducting about startups serving immigrants in the U.S.:

I’m passionate about this topic, because my family has immigrated from China to Taiwan to the United States. I previously wrote about my experience growing up Taiwanese American in Indiana and shared that many of my childhood friends are also the children of immigrants.

In the U.S., we talk about immigrants achieving “the American Dream.” Immigrant success stories abound with people like Elon Musk, Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google), Sammy Sosa, Jerry Yang (co-founder of Yahoo!), Mila Kunis, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Indra Nooyi (former PepsiCo CEO), and Simu Liu (Shang-Chi).

These stories are incredible and important, but also may overshadow the challenges of being an immigrant (and of course, immigrants will have different experiences depending on their socioeconomic status, country of origin, level of education, etc.).

Being an immigrant is tough — you have to learn a new language, navigate a complicated healthcare system, build up your credit from scratch, undergo bureaucracy and waiting games to become a citizen, etc. And on top of this, immigrant populations have drawn a lot of vitriol and hate in the last few years as seen in a rise of hate crimes, travel bans, and the Trump administration’s actions to curtail immigration.

I strongly admire and want to better understand the great work of startups working to alleviate these hurdles for immigrants. I couldn’t find many lists or much existing research on this topic, so I created my own.

In my research, you’ll find: 1) a market map of 41 startups serving immigrants across digital health, edtech, fintech, and legal tech; 2) profiles on eight companies; 3) descriptions of all companies included; and 4) resources for immigrants (e.g., venture capital funding, nonprofits) and for other people to learn more about immigrant experiences

I’m sure I have inadvertently missed some great companies, so please let me know if that’s the case!