Tala, the international tech firm creating an accessible financial services platform, announced a $145 million Series E round that has been led by Upstart along with contributions from the Stellar Development Foundation.
New investors Kindred Ventures and the J. Safra Group, along with existing investors such as IVP, Revolution Growth, and Lowercase Capital, also joined Tala’s investment round, which brings Tala’s total funding to over $350 million, according to a release shared with CI.
Tala’s management stated that they would use the proceeds to accelerate the rollout of their new financial account experience, which offers clients with fresh tools “to borrow, save and manage their money, all through Tala’s top-rated consumer finance app.”
Tala will also be expanding its professional team across Mexico, India, the US and other world regions and pull forward plans for “both geographic and product expansion, including crypto offerings.”
Tala had been testing its new product lines in early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic “accelerated demand for digital financial services.” Tala moved quickly to address that demand, leveraging tech the firm had created to effectively “scale its pioneering mobile credit product and bridge digital and cash ecosystems across multiple geographies.”
In addition to payments and savings, Tala’s account will provide an expanded range of personalized credit options, including longer-term loans and credit that “can be configured to match customers’ income cycles.”
Since launching operations back in 2014, Tala has delivered over $2.7 billion in credit to more than 6 million customers across the globe. Every day, over 12,000 new users are signing up for Tala’s services.
Leveraging the Stellar network, Tala will also use this capital injection to develop the first mass-market crypto product for emerging markets, “advancing a core promise of digital currency ecosystems by making more affordable and equitable financial tools available to populations that can benefit the most from the crypto economy.”
As part of this deal, Paul Gu, co-founder of Upstart and Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation, have joined Tala’s board of directors.
Shivani Siroya, founder and CEO, Tala, stated:
“Tala has spent the past seven years delivering critical and valued services in markets where the financial system is fundamentally broken for millions of people. 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.”
Paul Gu, Co-Founder and Head of Product at Upstart, remarked:
“Under Shivani’s leadership, Tala has begun to tackle the single hardest and biggest problem in consumer finance: enabling access to credit in the developing world. Upstart shares Tala’s belief that technology is the key to unlock access for the underserved, and we’re excited to support them in serving the next 1 billion people entering the financial system.”
CEO and Executive Director, Denelle Dixon, added:
“This Stellar Enterprise Fund investment represents our high confidence in Tala’s technology, traction, and leadership – supporting their growth made perfect sense. 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.”