Tala, the mobile app loan service, raises $30 million to expand into new markets


Tala, a mobile technology and data science company that is working to change the way credit scoring and financial services work around the world, has raised more than US $30 million 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 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.

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.

Tala, fomerly called M-Kopo Rahisi, is a mobile technology and data science company that is working to change the way credit scoring and financial services work around the world. Through its mobile app, Tala connects over 10,000 data points per customer to create an instant credit score and deliver customized financial services. Tala has disbursed more than one million loans totaling over US $50 million in origination and more than one million individuals have accessed the product. In 2016, Fast Company ranked Tala (which operates as InVenture), as one of its top 10 companies in Money, and Forbes named Tala as one of the top 50 FinTech companies in the world. Tala is headquartered in Los Angeles with additional offices in Nairobi and Manila.

With US $5.4 billion of committed capital, IVP is one of the premier later-stage venture capital and growth equity firms in the United States. Founded in 1980, IVP has invested in over 300 companies and 103 have gone public. IVP is one of the topperforming firms in the industry and has a 36-year IRR of 43.2%.  IVP specializes in venture growth investments, industry rollups, founder liquidity transactions, and select public market investments. IVP investments include such notable companies as AppDynamics, ArcSight (HPQ), Business Insider (Axel Springer), Buddy Media (CRM), ComScore (SCOR), Datalogix (ORCL), Domo, Dropbox, Dropcam (GOOG), Fleetmatics (FLTX), GitHub, HomeAway (AWAY), The Honest Company, Kayak (PCLN), Klarna, LegalZoom, LifeLock (LOCK), Marketo (MKTO), MySQL (ORCL), Netflix (NFLX), Omniture (ADBE), OnDeck (ONDK), Personal Capital, Pure Storage (PSTG), Shazam, Slack, Snap, SoFi, SoundCloud, Supercell (SoftBank), Synchronoss (SNCR), Tanium, Twitter (TWTR), and Zynga (ZNGA).