Funding: Tala Raises $145M, Ethereum-based Aurora Closes $12M Round

As the funding world is in its final and fourth quarter of 2021, capital continues to flow into the crypto space.

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In the third quarter of 2021, funding for blockchain companies hit all-time highs of $6.586 billion, which is almost double the $3.8 billion raised in total during 2020. As the funding world is in its final and fourth quarter of 2021, capital continues to flow into the crypto space. 

Tala rolls out crypto solutions with $145M raise

Global technology company Tala raised $145 million in a Series E round to rollout its mobile-based account services and crypto solutions for emerging markets, it said on Thursday. 

This capital raise brings the company’s total funding to more than $350 million. The investment round was led by Upstart with participation from Stellar Development Foundation, Kindred Ventures and the J. Safra Group. Existing investors in the round include IVP, Revolution Growth and Lowercase Capital. 

About two billion people internationally have limited access to financial services and are unbanked, according to a Global Findex report. Tala focuses on providing financial account products to provide customers tools to borrow, save and manage money through its app, Shivani Siroya, founder and CEO of Tala, said to Blockworks. 

The app has about 12,000 new users daily and has originated over $2.7 billion in credit to its six million customers across Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico and India since its launch in 2014, Siroya said. 

“We’re always going to pursue a new technology if we think it can help our mission, and our view is that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain have the potential to advance financial inclusion globally,” Siroya said. “The markets where Tala operates are some of the earliest and fastest adopters and we owe it to our customers to explore these solutions as part of the Tala account offering and deliver on the promise of the crypto economy,” she added. 

By using the Stellar network, Tala users will be able to use stablecoins like Stellar USDC and other digital currencies, Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation, told Blockworks. 

In the future, Tala hopes to engage further in the explosion of innovation in DeFi by providing customers more inclusive financial products, Siroya said. 

Aurora Raises $12 million

Aurora, an Ethereum virtual machine built on the NEAR Protocol, has raised $12 million in a funding round with participation from investors including Pantera Capital and Electric Capital. 

Ethereum ecosystem projects, including Zero Knowledge Validation, Global Coin Ventures, imToken, Chronicle and others took part in the funding round. This was the company’s first fundraise.

“The main point of the fundraise was not in collecting money, but rather build the early ecosystem of the project,” Alex Shevchenko, Aurora Labs CEO said to Blockworks. “That’s why we have more than 100 investors in this round,” he added. 

Aurora’s development team became a separate entity from NEAR Protocol in July 2021. 

According to its website, the company aims to provide application developers the ability to operate on Ethereum-compatible platforms and is governed by a decentralized Aurora DAO. Aurora aims to bridge the gaps between blockchains, developers and users, Shevchenko said in a statement. 

The company plans to use the capital to improve its cross-chain functionality and offer a multi-chain space that provides users more accessibility and adds new developers.

This story was updated on October 14, 2021 at 4:40 pm ET.

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