Fintech Firm Tala Raises $145 Million to Expand its Cryptocurrency Services
The California-based company for financial services – Tala – has raised $145 million in a Series E funding round to provide cryptocurrency solutions to developing nations. This brings its total funding to over $350 million from investors such as PayPal Ventures, GV, and Revolution Growth.
Turning Towards Crypto
According to a CNBC report, the financial service provider – Tala – plans to use the funds to expand its borrowing, savings, and money management opportunities to the following emerging countries: the Philippines, Mexico, India, and Kenya. The company intends to provide crypto offerings, too.
Shivani Siroya – Founder and CEO of Tala – noted that the COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call for her company to add more services aside from the traditional ones:
“During the pandemic, we saw the need for more than credit and rolled out products beyond credit, highlighting the account experience that we’re now excited to go accelerate.”
Tala focuses mainly on underbanked customers. According to Siroya, the company has lent over $1 billion to millions of clients, opining that digital assets have the potential to enhance the financial transactions:
“So we’re really looking to ensure that they have a safe place to more efficiently use their money, and that’s what we’re thinking about when it comes to crypto: how can we use this technology to really ensure that we’re supporting the essential movement of money.”
The Partnership with Visa
Earlier this year, Tala made its first interaction with the cryptocurrency industry by teaming up with the multinational financial services corporation – Visa – and the peer-to-peer payments technology company – Circle. Their goal was to provide underbanked individuals with the ability to buy, sell, and store the USDC stablecoin.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Tala would keep the acquired USDC in its digital wallet, which users could later convert into other cryptocurrencies or fiats. In its turn, Visa gave customers access to the payment provider’s credit card, thus enabling them to spend the stablecoins across all the merchants that accept those cards.
Back then, Siroya once again praised the potential of blockchain technology, which could solve global problems of financial inclusion:
“Digital currencies have tremendous potential to radically open financial access and put more control directly into the hands of underbanked and underestimated people.”