Global consumer financing app Tala has raised US$145 million in a Series E round, the startup announced recently.
The funding was led by California-based AI lending platform Upstart. Participating investors included new investors Stellar Development Foundation, Kindred Ventures and the J. Safra Group. They were joined by existing investors IVP, Revolution Growth, PayPal Ventures, and Lowercase Capital.
The Series E round takes the 2011-founded company’s total capital haul to over US$350 million.
Upstart Co-founder Paul Gu, and Stellar Development Foundation’s CEO and Executive Director Denelle Dixon will now be on Tala’s board following the fundraise.
Tala is working on a mass-market crypto product
Funding will be used to roll out new tools within Tala’s consumer finance app to borrow, save and manage money. Further, the company has plans to expand both its geographic footprint, and its products (including new crypto offerings). Further, Tala will also develop a mass-market crypto product targeted at emerging markets, using Stellar Development Foundation’s network.
New account offerings will include expanded personalized credit options, such as longer-term loans and credit that is tailored for customers’ income cycles.
Tala will also focus on growing its teams in Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico, India and the US, where it is headquartered.
“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,”
Shivani Siroya, founder and CEO, Tala, said.
Tala first launched Nairobi in 2017. Since then, it has deployed over US$2.7 billion in loans across Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico and India. The company claims to have 12,000 new users daily, with a total of over 6 million customers so far.
The company uses a mobile app-based platform and data science to bridge the financing gap for unbanked and underbanked populations through instant loans. Loans are disbursed via accounts or cash out channels (such as mobile agents).
Featured image credit: edited from Unsplash