As we continue to foster expanded use of the Stellar network, we do so keeping in mind our mission – to create equitable access to the global financial infrastructure. According to regulation and compliance leader Acuant, approximately two billion people remain unbanked or underbanked across the world. Connecting to affordable and seamless financial services and products can benefit these individuals at both the local level and global scale.
This is why we’re pleased to announce that the Stellar Development Foundation has made a $40M investment through its Enterprise Fund as part of a $145M Series E round in Tala, a mission-driven fintech company whose vision of creating financial inclusion closely aligns with ours.
Currently operational in Kenya, Mexico, India, and the Philippines, Tala aims to provide the unbanked access to financial services that they would not have via traditional means. Best known for its revolutionary mobile lending app, powered by advanced data science, Tala enables its customers to “apply for a loan and receive an instant decision, regardless of their credit history.” If the loan is approved, then the borrower receives the money (ranging from $10-500) in their mobile money account in a matter of minutes.
This Series E investment round (led by Upstart) will support Tala’s product expansion as the team builds out digital banking capabilities. Tala users will be able to borrow, spend, save, invest, and send/receive entirely using Stellar assets and stablecoins like Stellar USDC.
This is our largest investment to-date since launching the Enterprise Fund in fiscal year 2020, more than doubling total funding so far in 2021. With this investment, the Stellar network extends its global reach deeper into four countries and millions of Tala users.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable populations – including those who had little to no access to financial services and resources – were especially impacted by global economic downturns. The UNSGA reported that, due to economic shocks, women were twice as likely to lose their jobs compared to men, female-led Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) were more likely to close compared to male-led SMEs, and that 47 million more women and girls worldwide have fallen into poverty.
Tala’s product expansion into stablecoins demonstrates how companies can harness the power of blockchain technology to increase financial access and inclusion. Since launching in 2014, Tala has delivered more than $2.7 billion in credit to more than six million customers across emerging markets, with thousands of new users joining daily. Now that it plans to harness the Stellar network and USDC to expand its product offerings, Tala is geared to help even more people – the people that need financial services the most.