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PayPal-backed fintech Tala raises $145 million in Series E round

PayPal-backed fintech Tala disburses loans to 6 million customers across Kenya, India, the Philippines, Mexico and the United States. the round was led by Upstart and takes the total funds raised by the company to $350 million. Tala will use these funds to rollout new products and expand its team across geographies.

October 15, 2021 / 10:22 AM IST
Tala was founded in 2013 by former Citigroup Executive Shivani Siroya

Tala was founded in 2013 by former Citigroup Executive Shivani Siroya

Global financial services technology company Tala said on October 15 that it had raised $145 million in a Series E round led by AI lending platform Upstart. The round also saw participation from Stellar Development Foundation, Kindred Ventures and the J Safra Group, along with existing investors including IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital, and PayPal Ventures

This round takes the lender’s total funding to over $350 million. Founded in 2013 by former Citigroup Executive Shivani Siroya, the US-headquartered company has six million users across Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico, and India.

The firm disburses loans in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs,10,000 to its half a million users in India since it entered the country in 2020. Tala said it will use the investment to accelerate the rollout of its new financial account experience, which provides customers with new tools to borrow, save and manage their money from its consumer finance app.

Tala will also expand its team across Kenya, India, the Philippines, Mexico and the US and pull forward plans for both geographic and product expansion, including crypto offerings.

As a part of this fundraise, 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.

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“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,” said Siroya.

“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,” the Tala CEO added.

In addition to payments and savings, Tala’s evolved account will offer an expanded range of personalized credit options, including longer-term loans and credit that can be configured to match customers’ income cycles.

Paul Gu, Co-Founder and Head of Product at Upstart said, “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.”

Leveraging the network of Stellar Development Foundation, Tala will also use this funding to develop the first mass-market crypto product for emerging markets, the company added.

Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Enterprise Fund said, “Joining forces with Tala to improve access to financial services for millions of people in emerging markets is 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.”

Since launching in Nairobi in 2014, Tala has delivered more than $2.7 billion in credit to more than 6 million customers across Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico and India. The company said that it sees more than 12,000 new sign ups every day.
Priyanka Iyer

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