Microlender Tala Raises $145 Million as it prepares to work with Stellar Foundation

Tala, one of the largest microlenders built for the unbanked, has announced that it has raised $145 million in its Series E of funding from a range of investors that includes Upstart, Stellar Development Foundation, Kindred Ventures, and others.

It hopes to use these new funds to build a complete financial platform with the target as the unbanked as the traditional form of banking has proved to be quite costly and hence in many pockets in the developing world, there are still a lot of people who are unbanked with minimal access to financial services. The company was founded in 2014 and it has a unique way of collecting and building the financial profile of its clients using their mobile data which would, in turn, be used for building their credit scores. The lending decisions would be based upon these credit scores and the company chose to adopt this method as many of the developing com=untries do not have a proper way of tracking the credits of an individual and even if there was, the unbanked would have no such history.

Shivani Siroya, CEO, Tala, said: “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.”

The company has so far paid out $2.7 billion in credit to over 6 million customers in India, Kenya, Phillippines, and Mexico as well. The company also plans to expand its product range and include more financial services including new credit options, long-term loans, and other such products. It can be noted that one of the investors in this round is Stellar Foundation, a crypto company and it is reported that the two companies would be working together to build a crypto product for the unbanked. The use of crypto for serving the unbanked has been one of the main use-cases of crypto since its inception and though crypto is being used mainly for speculation, its application and use in reaching out to the far corners of a country to help bring them on to the financial system cannot be under-rated at any point of time. It remains to be seen what kind of product that they are planning together but they do have the market available for pushing the use of crypto.