Tala Takes Its Mass-Market Crypto Platform to New Countries with a $145M Raise

Sarah Favot

Favot is an award-winning journalist and adjunct instructor at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She previously was an investigative and data reporter at national education news site The 74 and local news site LA School Report. She's also worked at the Los Angeles Daily News. She was a Livingston Award finalist in 2011 and holds a Master's degree in journalism from Boston University and BA from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.

Tala Takes Its Mass-Market Crypto Platform to New Countries with a $145M Raise
Photo by Executium on Unsplash

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.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Snap’s Fourth Quarter Revenue Was the Company’s Slowest Growth Since Its IPO Six Years Ago

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

​Snap logo over a bunch of snap shots
Sebastian Miño-Bucheli

Snap Inc.’s trend of growing its user base but failing to adequately monetize them continues.

Read moreShow less

Behind Her Empire: Lisa Sequino on the ‘Light Bulb’ Moment That Launched JLo Beauty

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Behind Her Empire: Lisa Sequino on the ‘Light Bulb’ Moment That Launched JLo Beauty
Lisa Sequino

On this episode of Behind Her Empire, JLo Beauty Co-founder and CEO Lisa Sequino discusses how she transitioned from her corporate career to a more entrepreneurial path.

Read moreShow less