PayPal-backed fintech startup Tala has raised $145 million in a Series E round to expand its financial services in countries in emerging markets and to develop a mass-market crypto product.
The raise was led by lending platform Upstart with participation from the Stellar Development Foundation, bringing the total raised by the Santa Monica-based company to more than $350 million.
The Android mobile app allows people who are traditionally underbanked to borrow and save their money.
"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," the company said in ablog post on its website. "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."
The company said its six million users have borrowed more than $2.7 billion across Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico and India. Loans range from $10 to $500 with rates as low as 4%, the company said. People who don't have a formal credit history can apply.
In January, Tala announced it partnered with Visa to help its customers convert, store and use crypto currencies. It started with USDC, Circle's stablecoin, a cryptocurrency that is pegged to the U.S. dollar. Users will have access to the cryptocurrency in their digital wallet. The agreement with Visa also gave Tala users access to Visa cards linked to the digital wallet, allowing them to spend their USDC anywhere Visa is accepted.
Kindred Ventures and the J. Safra Group also participated in the round, along with returning investors IVP, Revolution Growth, PayPal Ventures and Lowercase Capital.
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