Tala raises Sh3bn as it seeks to expand in new markets

February 23, 2017 (5 weeks ago)
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The firms’ 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 customized credit score/COURTESY

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – Kenya’s Mobile Technology firm Tala (formerly Mkopo Rahisi) has raised over Sh3 billion in a new round of funding for expansion into new markets.

The new financing dubbed Series B was led by IVP and joined by Ribbit Capital with additional participants including existing investors Lowercase Capital, Data Collective, Collaborative Fund and Female Founders Fund (F3).

The funds will also be used to accelerate product development 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.

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.

“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,” Maltz added.

The firms’ 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 customized 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 customized based on a customer’s risk and capacity.

Credit is disbursed directly to customers’ mobile money accounts in less than five 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. 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,” said Shivani Siroya, Founder and CEO of Tala.

Tala has delivered more than one million loans totalling over $50 million, and more than one million individuals have accessed the product in East Africa alone.

More than 95 per cent of Tala’s borrowers return to Tala for additional loans, and repayment rates are above 90 per cent.

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