Fintech Tala Raises $145M to Launch Crypto Product for Emerging Markets

The startup will also expand its financial services for the unbanked.

Oct 14, 2021 at 1:14 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 14, 2021 at 4:27 p.m. UTC

Fintech startup Tala has raised $145 million in a Series E funding round to expand its financial services and develop a mass-market crypto product for emerging markets. Lending platform Upstart led the round, which Tala says brings its total funding to more than $350 million.

The company said in a blog post that it will use the funding to “accelerate the rollout of our new financial account experience, which provides fresh new tools to grow, save and manage your money. We’ll also work to develop one of the first mass-market crypto products for emerging markets to help make crypto solutions more affordable and equitable for those who need them most.”

Other participants in the round included the Stellar Development Foundation, Kindred Ventures and the J. Safra Group. Returning investors included IVP, Revolution Growth, PayPal Ventures and Lowercase Capital.

Tala offers financial services to the traditionally unbanked through a consumer credit app that underwrites and distributes loans ranging from $10 to $500 with rates starting at 4%. The company says more than 6 million people have used the mobile app to borrow more than $2.7 billion across Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico and India.

Visa partnered with Tala earlier this year to drive crypto adoption in emerging markets by offering access to USD Coin, the stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar. Tala provided access to USDC through its digital wallet, and Visa offered the ability to link payment cards to the wallet. The collaboration also included USDC operator Circle and the Stellar Development Foundation.

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