In the last 11 months, Kenya’s Mkopo Rahisi, an Inventure-backed mobile financial services platform has disbursed over a billion Kenya shillings to more than 75,000 customers with repayment rates of more than 90% and more than 95% of customers return for a second loan.
Like Mkopo Rahisi, Tala will gather more than 10,000 data points from customers’ mobile phones to make its credit decision and send loans directly to customers’ mobile money accounts. Some of its services, like the ability to learn from other customer experiences, will be available to even those customers who aren’t initially approved for loans.
“We hear constantly from our customers about the financial services they need and the steps they want to take to build their futures,” said Amanda Donahue, Tala’s Vice President for East Africa. “Tala is a direct response to that feedback, continuing everything our customers love about Mkopo Rahisi while also offering a new suite of features and services.”
Like Mkopo Rahisi, Tala offers loans up to 50,000 Ksh, and will continue to add new financial services and opportunities in the coming months. Tala will offer a more seamless loan application process and an easy way for customers to check their credit limit. Tala will help customers learn from its community by sharing similar customer experiences.
“Our ultimate goal with Tala is to be a true financial partner to our customers and give them choice and control over their financial lives,” said Shivani Siroya, the company’s chief executive, who was in Nairobi for the announcement. “Thousands of Kenyans have already expanded their businesses or invested in their futures because of the credit we’ve helped them access. With our new platform, we’ll be able to reach even more people with financial services that are fast, fair, and flexible,” she added.
In September last year, Inventure raised $10M series A round to launch into additional markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The series A round was led by Data Collective with participation from Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital; Facebook co-founder and independent investor Chris Hughes; Palantir and Paypal co-founder Nathan Gettings and former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit among others.
With such a team of investors behind it, Inventure is keen on expanding across East Africa and beyond in a move to make mobile financial services available to all. The rebrand to Tala will help the firm launch in various markets in Africa and Asia regardless of the continents language.