Tala, a technology company that seeks to make financial services more accessible, on Friday said that it has raised $145 million (Rs 1,088 crore) as part of its Series E funding round led by AI-based lending platform Upstart.
Stellar Development Foundation also participated in this funding round, said Tala in a statement.
New investors Kindred Ventures and the J Safra Group as well as existing investors including IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital, and PayPal Ventures also contributed to the funding round, it added.
The fresh capital will fuel Tala's launch of its new mobile-first account services and crypto solutions for emerging markets, including India.
It will also use the funds to expand its team in India, Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico and the US.
Tala entered India in 2020 and has already had more than half a million users sign up for the platform, it claims. Since its launch in 2014, Tala has extended over $2.7 billion in credit to more than six million customers across Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico and India.
Shivani Siroya, founder and CEO of Tala, said the company spent the past seven years "delivering critical and valued services in markets where the financial system is fundamentally broken for millions of people".
“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," said Paul Gu, co-founder and head of product at Upstart, started by former Google employees in 2012.
Prior to this fundraise, Tala had raised $110 million (Rs 785.5 crore) in its Series D round of funding led by RPS Ventures, a fund set up by former SoftBank managing director Kabir Misra, in August 2019.
In India, Tala is competing with a bunch of digital lending startups such as Lendingkart, Ziploan, Biz2Credit, ZestMoney and Avail Finance, which have attracted funding from venture capital firms.