Homeis, a startup based in New York City and Tel Aviv, is the first online platform created to serve the needs of immigrant and foreign-born communities. Through this social network, Homeis aims to help these individuals “find their wings, without losing their roots.”
The platform and accompanying app were created to help people from foreign communities connect in their new city and country. Users can find relationships, friendships and jobs, as well as receive recommendations for professionals, products and services that are related to their culture or native language.
Homeis was founded in 2017 by Ran Harnevo and Hanan Lashover, the company’s CEO and CTO, respectively. Originally from Israel, Ran struggled to move to New York City while working with his previous startup, 5 Min Media, which was acquired by AOL in 2010.
“I remember how hard it was to have access to information, not to mention in Hebrew,” he told CNN.
After asking others for advice and connections, he realised that his experience was not unique. After selling 5 Min Media to AOL, he served as AOL’s global president of its video division. Ran eventually left AOL to “use technology for a positive social cause.”
“Homeis was created to help people like us, who belong here and there, and feel that the Internet is underserving them,” the company’s about page explains. “We’ve witnessed how difficult it is for local immigrant communities to digitally connect, share their culture, their local knowledge, and unique context. We saw how important these communities are in one’s life, how supportive they can be, and how effective their common wisdom can be to its members.”
The company started with an Isreali community in New York City. The network has since expanded to Israeli, Indian and French communities in North America, as well as other communities, and plans to continuing growing to serve immigrant communities in the US and beyond. Communities for Mexicans and citizens from other Latin American countries in the US will be launched this year, as reported by Tech Startups.
Homeis recently raised $12 million in Series A funding to expand the platform. Investors include Abstract VC, The Chernin Group, Samsung Next, Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian, AOL’s former CEO Tim Armstrong, Taboola CEO Adam Singolda and more.
“Empowering immigrants is a personal mission, one which we believe is timely and important,” Ran said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have the support of our investors and are committed to supporting immigrants wherever they are, making technology work for them, and fulfilling their very special needs.”