PayPal-backed Tala raises $145m to expand into crypto

Fintech start-up Tala has raised $145m in Series E funding to expand its product offering

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Fintech start-up Tala has raised $145m in Series E funding – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

Fintech start-up Tala has raised $145m (£105m) in Series E funding to expand its product offering and venture into the world of crypto, it announced via a company statement.

The round was led by consumer lending firm Upstart with participation from the Stellar Development Foundation. New investors Kindred Ventures and the J. Safra Group also joined the round along with existing investors IVP, Revolution Growth, PayPal Ventures and Lowercase Capital. 

The round brings California-based Tala's total funding to more than $350m.

Growth across borders

Tala has grown its mobile-first account services significantly since it first launched in 2014. It has more than 12,000 people signing up for the platform everyday, and has facilitated more than $2.7bn in credit to around six million customers in Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and India.

Last year, the company entered the lending market in India and has since acquired more than 500,000 additional users. 

Serving underbanked populations

The start-up will use the funding towards building out its credit lending app, as well developing a mass-market crypto product to make it more affordable and accessible, enabling new geographies to benefit from the crypto economy.  

“We’ll use this investment to provide those services and accelerate the rollout of our new financial account experience, which provides fresh new tools to grow, save, and manage your money," Tala confirmed in its statement.

The start-up's push to build out its crypto platform follows a partnership with Visa that was announced earlier this year, as the two companies aim to help underbanked populations participate in the crypto economy. 

“Digital currencies have tremendous potential to radically open financial access and put more control directly into the hands of underbanked and underestimated people. We couldn’t be more excited that Visa, Circle, and the Stellar Development Foundation share our vision and want to work on a solution, not only for Tala’s six million global customers but for the billions more who can benefit," Tala said earlier this year.

Further reading: Visa to acquire fintech company Tink for $2.1bn

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