Tala raises over Sh3 billion to finance expansion

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Mobile technology and data science company, Tala, which is working to change the way credit scoring and financial services work around the world, announced last month it had raised more than $30 million (Sh3 billion) in Series B financing, led by IVP and joined by Ribbit Capital. Additional participants include existing investors Lowercase Capital, Data Collective, Collaborative Fund and Female Founders Fund (F3).

Tala’s new round of funding will be used to accelerate product development, expand into new markets, and build its internal team. As part of the financing, Jules Maltz from IVP has joined Tala’s Board of Directors.

“By using smartphone data to build financial identity, Tala is pioneering a new model that can reach more than two billion people globally who have been underserved by traditional finance companies,” said Jules Maltz, General Partner, IVP.

“We are thrilled to partner with Shivani and the Tala management team to help accelerate Tala’s next phase of growth and unlock capital and opportunity for millions of people across the world.”

“From day one, Tala’s mission has been to change global financial systems so that people have more access, choice, and control,” said Shivani Siroya, Founder and CEO of Tala.

“With this new round and team of phenomenal investors and advisors, we are positioned to connect millions of underserved people to financial services that can advance their lives.”
Tala currently operates in East Africa and Southeast Asia with its main top markets being Kenya and the Philippines, where it focuses on improving financial access for individuals in the emerging middle class, which are largely underserved populations that are leading creditworthy lives outside of the formal economic sector.

Tala’s mobile app for Android aggregates more than 10,000 different data points on a customer’s device, including financial transactions, savings, network diversity, and geographic patterns, and builds a customised credit score.

Once a customer has been scored through the app, he or she can quickly apply for credit and receive an instant decision. The size and terms of the credit product are customised based on a customer’s risk and capacity. Credit is disbursed directly to customers’ mobile money accounts in less than 5 minutes, and customers repay directly via the app.

Tala has delivered more than one million loans totaling over $50 million (Sh5 billion), and more than one million individuals have accessed the product in East Africa alone. More than 95% of Tala’s borrowers return for additional loans, and repayment rates are above 90 percent.

“No company in our portfolio makes me prouder to be involved and has more potential for upside than Tala,” said Chris Sacca, Founder of Lowercase Capital.

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