Tala, the Los Angeles-based mobile technology and data science firm using credit scoring to provide financial services to people in East Africa and the Philippines has raised more than $30 million in Series B financing to accelerate product development, expand into new markets, and build its internal team.
The round was led by IVP and joined by Ribbit Capital with participation from existing investors Lowercase Capital, Data Collective, Collaborative Fund and Female Founders Fund (F3).
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.”
Formerly Mkopo Rahisi (Inventure) Tala currently operates in East Africa and Southeast Asia with its main top markets being Nairobi, Kenya and Manila in the Philippines, where it allows users to access finances for personal and business use. It’s major competitor is Branch, another US-based firm operating in Africa and Safaricom’s Mshwari.
In September 2015, 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.
Today, Tala’s Android app 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 customized credit score, or financial identity. 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 customized 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 their loans directly from the app.
“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 has delivered more than one million loans totaling over $50 million, and more than one million individuals have accessed the product in East Africa alone. More than 95 percent of Tala’s borrowers return to Tala 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 & Chairman of Lowercase Capital.