Seattle startup Boundless raises $7.5M to acquire rival RapidVisa and grow online immigration tools

Boundless CEO Xiao Wang. (Boundless Photo)

Earlier this year, Xiao Wang was playing defense. His Seattle startup, online immigration service Boundless, went line-by-line through its expenses, looked at renegotiating past agreements, and did everything it could to preserve cash amid an economic crisis.

Now it’s time for offense.

Boundless just announced a $7.5 million investment round that helped fund the acquisition of its rival, RapidVisa, and will fuel expansion of its own tools and products.

“I believe that periods of economic crisis and uncertainty accentuate the gaps between companies and are when the next generation of great companies are forged,” said Wang, who co-founded Boundless in 2017 with Doug Rand and Serdar Sutay.

Boundless helps customers connect with attorneys, file applications online, and receive support throughout the immigration process.

The company will nearly double the size of its team by adding 45 employees from Las Vegas-based RapidVisa.

“Our two organizations are complementary in terms of strengths, and together we are now the clear leader in the online immigration industry,” said Wang, a former Amazon product manager who was a finalist for Startup CEO of the Year at the 2020 GeekWire Awards.

The deal and additional funding will help Boundless boost its infrastructure and scope in preparation for an economic recovery.

Boundless has dealt with uncertainty in the immigration sector under President Trump, who continues to push forward with his anti-immigration agenda despite ongoing health and economic concerns, Reuters reported last week. Trump suspended entry of some foreign workers in June. The president’s attempts to curb legal immigration the U.S. predate the pandemic.

Wang said that no matter what happens with the election in November, Boundless is in a strong position after the acquisition of RapidVisa, which bootstrapped since launching in 2009 and is profitable.

“If Donald Trump is re-elected, then we will continue to be the source for truth in an ocean of uncertainty, but now with even more data to help families make the best decision,” he said. “If Joe Biden wins, we will build the best experience for any new immigration categories, such as DACA.”

Wang said Boundless still only represents less than 5% of the total family immigration market. The company faces hurdles in trying to convince families to use an entirely online immigration service that does not require in-person meetings.

“How we can shift this mindset across an ever-increasing number of products and services will be the foundation for our growth in years to come,” sad Wang, an immigrant himself who came to the U.S. as a 3-year-old from Nanjing, China.

The online experience is actually the safest option for families during the pandemic, Wang noted.

Boundless avoided making layoffs earlier this year as it curbed expenses. The company, which spun out of Seattle’s Pioneer Square Labs, is ranked No. 123 on the GeekWire 200, our list of top Pacific Northwest startups. It will now have additional offices in Las Vegas, Manila, and Cebu City, Philippines after the acquisition.

Foundry Group led the investment round, which included participation from Two Sigma Ventures, Trilogy Equity Partners, Pioneer Square Labs, Forefront Ventures, and Kevin Mahaffey. Total funding to date is north of $18 million.

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