Newtown Partners, led by Vinny Lingham and Llew Classen, have announced an equity investment in Wala — a startup aiming to provide financial services to the unbanked. This investment comes just ahead of an October token sale supported by Wala.
Wala: A Bank Account Without the Bank
The Wala platform provides banking services to regions of the world where people have trouble accessing traditional banking institutions.
Wala’s business model is to bridge the gap between banks and unbanked people with blockchain technology. By building a consumer-facing platform on the Ethereum blockchain, the company plans to let consumers transact with blockchain-based tokens, which are then settled as fiat payments with partner banks.
If successful, Wala users will have access to those banks, without ever actually dealing with them. All consumer activity would theoretically take place in an Ethereum-based, token environment.
In order to make the platform functional, Wala has pursued banking relationships in their target markets.
The startup said it has tested prototypes of its platform in over 100 countries, reaching 1 million consumers without traditional banking access.
When it is ready to roll out a full version of the service, Walla plans to start in Africa, and then expand globally.
Commenting on its equity investment from Newtown Partners, Wala founder and CEO Tricia Martinez told press, “The depth and breadth of [Newtown Partners’] expertise. . .will be key to the future success of Wala.
At press time, Newtown Partners has not disclosed the amount it invested in the startup. Bitsonline inquired about the amount, but has not yet received a response.
Partnering with Dala Token Sale in October
Later this month, Wala will serve as the launch partner for Dala, a financial services token. Dala’s goal is to provide a common unit of account and microeconomic incentive for blockchain-compatible platforms in emerging markets. Through such integration, the Dala team claims its token will support the continued development and scaling of these platforms.
The token sale begins on October 15 and will continue for 4 weeks, with a goal of raising US $30 million. The token sale will use Vinny Lingham’s Civic app to provide identity verification to token sale investors.
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Images via Pixabay, Wala