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Newtown Partners, a seed-stage venture capital firm founded by Llew Claasen and Vinny Lingham, announced an investment of an undisclosed sum into Wala, a Cape Town-based blockchain-enabled fintech platform.
In a statement last week, Newtown Partners marketing partner Inge Lok said the investment will help Wala bring about its aim to provide zero-fee financial services which include insurance, transactional banking, remittances and loans to around 3.5 billion unbanked consumers.
Wala is planning a roll-out of its Wala Financial Platform in emerging markets in Africa
Wala’s financial services community currently has one million consumers in over 100 countries. The startup has also been testing a prototype of its Wala Financial Platform which it plans to roll out in emerging markets on the African continent before it expands globally.
“Through the use of blockchain technology and tokenisation, 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,” Wala CEO and founder Tricia Martinez (pictured centre) said in the same statement.
Wala is working with Newtown Partners in the launch of Dala, a new financial services utility token, which will be sold and issued in a crowdfunding token sale starting on 25 October. The Dala token sale registration opened earlier this month on 4 October and is set to close on 23 October.
The token sale aims to crowdfund more than $30-million over four weeks and will issue participants with a share of 300 million Dala utility tokens. The token sale will also use Lingham-founded secure identity platform Civic to provide identity verification services.
“Wala’s blockchain-enabled platform will enable greater access to zero-fee financial services to billions of consumers in emerging markets and enable everyone to become economically active, no matter where in the world they are. These are the kinds of big problems being addressed by bold innovations that we like to back,” said Newtown Partners managing partner, Llew Claasen.
Featured image: Wala via Facebook (left to right) Wala Team CTO Ross McEwan, CEO and co-founder Tricia Martinez and CPO and co-founder Samer Saab