Santa Monica-based financial technology firm Tala announced that it has successfully raised $145 million in a Series E capital round. The fintech intends on using the freshly raised funds to expand its borrow, save as well as money management options across the United States, the Philippines, Mexico, Kenya and India. Tala also aims to expand its cryptocurrency offerings with the capital raised. The company has now raised over $350 million in VC funding.

The funding was led by Upstart and included participation from Kindred Ventures, J Safra Group and Stellar Development Foundation. Existing investors including Revolution Growth, IVP,PayPal Ventures and Lowercase Capital also contributed to the raise.

About Tala – a US fintech giant

Founded by Shivani Siroya, Tala is a fintech firm that offers digital financial services and is focused on helping the traditionally underbanked borrow. It also disburses and underwrites loans to people (through its credit consumer app) to individuals who don’t really have a formal credit history. 

The credits and loans range from as low as $10 and go up to $500. The charges levied by Tala  , which is basically a one-time fee, has been kept as low as 5% for each loan. The company also said that over 90% of Tala’s customers repay their loan within 20 to 30 days. It added that most of its customers are recurring customers. 

The founder and CEO of Tala, Siroya said that the California-based firm has, till date, lent more than $1 billion to millions of people. She added that during the pandemic, Tala saw the need for products apart from credit and hence, decided to go beyond it, highlighting the account experience that they’re now excited to go accelerate.

She adds that the firm is really looking to make sure that they have a safe place to more efficiently use their money, and that is what they are thinking about when it comes to cryptocurrency: how this technology can be used to really make sure that Tala supports the essential movement of money.

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Tala’s partnership with Visa

Earlier in 2021, fintech Tala teamed up with Visa (a global financial services company) and Circles (a peer-to-peer payment tech company) in order to discuss its entry into the crypto industry. The goal of the partnership was to offer underbanked individuals the facility of buying, storing and selling the USDC stable coin.

According to the terms of the collaboration, Tala is to keep the acquired USDC in its digital wallet. Users can later convert it into other cryptocurrencies or even fiat currency. In return, Visa gave its customers access to the payment provider’s credit card, which enabled them to spend the stablecoins across all the merchants that accept those cards”. 

Back in the days, Siroya had praised the potential of blockchain technology that could solve problems of financial inclusion faced worldwide: Digital currencies possess tremendous potential to open financial access radically and give more control directly to underbanked and underestimated people.

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