The startup, headquartered in Singapore, uses blockchain technology to provide the unbanked and underbanked with access to cheaper and more efficient financial services without intermediaries.
The investment will help Lala World achieve its objective of integrating blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies into the current financial framework through the creation of a unique financial services ecosystem.
Due to them lacking basic banking education, the majority of the underbanked face severe challenges such as extended delays and sometimes hefty costs.
It is having empathy for this painful reality that inspired founder and CEO Sankalp Shangari to start Lala World.
It claims that migrant workers are currently charged around 10% in commissions and fees for sending money to their families back home. Lala World plans to reduce transaction costs to under 1% using blockchain.
Blockchain and mobile technology are providing solutions to the large population of unbanked.
Around 2 billion people do not use formal financial services globally and more than 50% of adults in the poorest households are unbanked according to the World Bank.
World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim has called for Universal Financial Access (UFA) by 2020.
Financial inclusion, which is individuals and businesses having access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs, is a key enabler to reducing poverty and boosting prosperity worldwide.
As a result of blockchain technology, mobile banking and payment solutions are now opening new access routes to and for customers.
It also facilitates more efficient transactions such as remittance, allowing people to access their money quicker.
For example, open source payment network Stellar is been built on blockchain technology and has been implemented to several non-profits and businesses as financial infrastructure, particularly in developing countries.
According to Lala World, they have struck several partnerships across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Currently, a fiat prototype is being tested across users in India and Malaysia. Over the next 12 months, the startup hopes to get at least 500,000 migrant workers in Malaysia using its platform.
Lala World’s services are centred around its Lala Wallet – an Hyperledger and Ethereum based platform that enables global remittances, peer-to-peer transfers, peer-to-peer lending, local and international bill payment.