Blockchain Start-Up Wala, To Solve Financial Exclusion Affecting 3.5bn People


Wala gains traction through key partnerships and the Dala token sale

Wala Dala

Cape Town, November 27 2017 –  Wala, a blockchain-powered financial services platform for the unbanked and underbanked, has gained significant traction over the past 2 months including an equity investment from Newtown Partners, a banking partnership, a payments partnership, the launch of the Wala Financial Platform, an impressive list of advisors and the launch of the Dala token sale.

Wala is a platform that provides access to transactional banking, remittances, loans and insurance for the unbanked and underbanked. Wala works with best of breed specialist providers in each market they’re operational in, including banks, to offer a full suite of financial services. Partners benefit from the reach and low cost access to previously unserviceable customers enabled by the Wala platform.

Wala’s recent equity investment from Newtown Partners, the venture capital firm founded by Llew Claasen and Vinny Lingham, enables the startup to deliver on the promise of zero-fee financial services for the 3.5bn consumers who are currently excluded from the formal financial system.

Further progress was made with the announcement of two key collaborations, FINCA international – a microfinance bank operating in 20 markets, and MVendr – a payments partner enabling Dala and fiat merchant transactions and cash in/cash out at 30,000+ points.

Wala has already grown its financial services community to 1 million consumers in over 100 countries. These local customer communities have been instrumental in testing prototypes of the Wala Financial Platform and demonstrating that digital technology can be used to effectively remove the key barriers to the adoption of financial services by the underbanked and underserved: access,  cost and embedded economic incentives. The Wala Financial platform (Adroid app) launched in Uganda in the Play store in October.

Wala founder and CEO Tricia Martinez commented: “Through the use of blockchain technology and tokenization, we have developed a platform that makes it possible to serve the financially excluded economically at scale. Our community’s guidance has ensured that the Wala Financial Platform has been built by the people for the people.”

The roll out of the Wala platform is initially planned for emerging markets in Africa, following the footprint of local banking services partners, before expanding globally. To support this roll out Wala has appointed an impressive list of advisors including Miko Matsumura (Founder, Evercoin and limited partner at Pantera Capital), Jonathan Smith (Co-founder and CTO at Civic), Nicole Anderson (CEO FinTech Circle Innovate), Jason Henrichs (Managing Director, FinTech Forge), Justin Spratt (Head of Business for Sub-Saharan Africa, Uber) and Johan Bosini (Venture Partner, Quona Capital).

“We are thrilled to have gained so much traction,” continued Martinez. “Our partners and advisors are exceptional and we are excited about taking the next steps in our journey with them.”

As part of that journey, Wala is the launch partner for a new financial services utility token, Dala, which will be sold and issued in a crowdfunding token sale this November and December. Dala will support the operationalization and further development of scalable, blockchain-enabled financial platforms for developing markets around a common unit of account and microeconomic incentive structure to create strong network effects. The Dala token sale will look to crowdfund US$30M and issue participants with their share of 300 million Dala utility tokens. The Dala token sale will also use the Civic app to provide identity verification services to backers.

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