Tala, which claims to be building the world’s most accessible financial services, has netted $145m in its Series E round.
Upstart served as the lead investor, with commitments also coming from Stellar Development Foundation and new investors Kindred Ventures and the J. Safra Group. Contributions to the round also came from existing Tala backers IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital and PayPal Ventures.
With this capital burst, Tala hopes to accelerate the deployment of its new financial account experience, which gives customers new tools to borrow, save and manage their money. Additioanlly, funds will help the company grow its team across Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico, India and the US, as well as release its product in new geographic markets.
Tala also plans to use the open source decentralised blockchain Stellar Network to build the first mass-market crypto product for emerging markets.
As part of the investment round, Upstart co-founder Paul Gu and Stellar Development Foundation CEO and executive director Denelle Dixon have joined the Tala board of directors.
Dixon said, “Joining forces with Tala to improve access to financial services for millions of people in emerging markets is exactly aligned with our mission at Stellar Development Foundation. Since the Stellar network leverages interoperability with the world’s existing financial systems, Stellar and Tala technology together are a powerful tool to bridge gaps for those who have been left out.”
Tala’s new financial account tool was originally tested in early 2020. When the pandemic reached its peak, the company was moving to meet the demand of its technology and scale its mobile credit product and bridge digital and cash ecosystems across multiple geographies.
The new account will include personalised credit options, including long-term loans that can be configured to match a customer’s income cycle.
Since the company launched in Nairobi in 2014, it has helped deliever over $2.7bn in credit to over six million consumers.
Tala founder and CEO Shivani Siroya said, “This new investment will accelerate our path to becoming the primary financial account for the global underbanked and helping millions more people make progress in their financial lives. Paul Gu and Denelle Dixon are visionary leaders who share our commitment to building a financial system that works for everyone and we are thrilled to welcome them to the team.”
With this funding round, the FinTech has raised a total of $350m in equity. The FinTech company previously raised $10m in its Series D round back in 2019, with commitments coming from RPS Ventures, VCs GGV Capital, Revolution and Lowercase Capital.
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