Congratulations to our client, Tala, on receiving $65M in Series C funding! As announced this week, the funding — led by Revolution Growth, a fund focused on building “disruptive, innovative companies that offer more choice, convenience, and control for both consumers and businesses” — helps to support Tala’s expansion from its existing user base in Kenya, Tanzania, and the Philippines to both India and Mexico. The $65M figure includes $50M in equity funding and another $15M in debt.
Since 2014, the Santa Monica-based Tala, led by founder and CEO Shivani Siroya, has been on a mission to disrupt and transform the way creditworthiness is calculated worldwide. The company’s innovative Android mobile app has created a new avenue for users in developing countries to establish creditworthiness and apply for loans. By analyzing data culled from users’ mobile phones (e.g., geolocation trends, network diversity, communication habits, merchant transactions, and other data points), Tala is able to provide loan applicants with instant decisions.
It’s estimated that more than three billion people worldwide don’t have a credit score. Historically, that meant that nearly a third of the world’s population lacked access to the traditional forms of loans and credit needed to improve their lives. With Tala, that’s begun to change.
For many Tala users, the loans have been life-changing. While a $15 microloan to start a business may not seem massive for someone starting a business in the United States, in a developing country like Kenya, it can be exactly what’s needed.
Tala’s new partnership with Revolution Growth feels custom-fit for the visionary startup. According to Revolution, the fund invests in “companies that are attacking large, traditional industries with innovative new products and services,” seeking to partner with investees that “share our desire to change the world and want our help as their hands-on partner in building their company.” Revolution believes entrepreneurs like Siroya are exactly the change agents the world needs. As Revolution chairman and CEO Steve Case explains, “We see Tala as a company building the future of finance. They have quickly become one of the leading mobile-first lenders in emerging markets where well over three billion consumers do not have access to traditional banks.”
Distillery enjoys an ongoing development partnership with Tala. We have been privileged to play a role in supporting Tala’s continued success, helping them to refine their technology and build new versions of their app in support of their launches in new markets. The Distillery team is proud to support Tala’s ongoing efforts and continuing expansion.
Tala rolls out a new version of its Android app for each new market. While the same core technology powers each geography’s app, the user interface, distribution method, and features are modified to meet the unique needs of each geography’s population.
We can’t wait to see what’s next for Tala. We’re thrilled to be a part of their success story, supporting their efforts to enable greater financial access, choice, and control for the people of the world’s emerging markets.
Want to learn more about how Distillery builds long-term development partnerships with startups and enterprises to help them scale their efforts and grow more sustainably? Let us know!
Ekaterina Kudievskaia is excited to be part of Distillery’s marketing team. With a background in education, operations, and sales, she’s known as a proven problem-solver, team-builder, and collaborator. Ekaterina loves to travel and is enjoying learning to snowboard. She’s also a huge fan of sushi and dreams of taking a trip to Japan.