Tala's Story

Tala reimagined the way credit scoring and financial services work in developing markets. The FinTech startup uses smartphone and other data to evaluate creditworthiness while analyzing geolocation trends, network diversity, and communication habits to provide loan applicants with instant decisions. Tala’s goal: to deliver an app that easily provides previously underserved populations with financial access, choice, and control.

While developing its Android application for Kenya in Summer of 2016, the Tala team approached Distillery for assistance. The growing startup knew it needed to refine its Kenya app while also preparing to expand into new markets.

1.8M
CUSTOMERS
$485M
TOTAL LOANS

Our Work

Tala had struggled to find the blue-chip engineers its big-picture goals necessitated. Distillery was able to source and place perfect-fit engineers immediately.

While Tala staff manage many overall projects, Distillery provides much of Tala’s engineering manpower. We staff the Santa Monica-based FinTech company with the following professionals:

  • Android developers
  • Back-End developers
  • QA automation engineers

This team of top-notch, Tala-devoted engineers have specialized FinTech knowledge and are fully in tune with the client’s mission. Our flexible, offshore engineers have forged a strong partnership with Tala, often traveling directly to the client to assist them in constantly improving the Android app’s technology. Per Tala’s request, one Distillery engineer has joined Tala’s in-house team in Los Angeles.

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Results

Since 2016, Distillery has worked with Tala to improve its Android app and develop it for other countries. While the bulk of this work has been engineering-based staff augmentation, Tala has come to us for more assistance as our partnership strengthened organically.

Our team of engineers and designers helped prepare Tala for a global stage by:

  • Fine-tuning Tala’s user interface design (UI) decisions, including the brand’s signature color palette
  • Improving the app constantly, from engineering specific patches to overseeing sweeping updates
  • Launching the Android mobile app for Mexico, the Philippines and Tanzania
  • Handling over 5 million downloads of the app between four emerging markets
  • Offering uninterrupted onsite and offsite support as Tala expands into new countries
  • Scaling our team to shrink and grow as Tala’s needs fluctuate over time
  • Preparing for upcoming expansion into a fifth market

As the client-developer relationship blooms, Tala has asked our team to help them understand and analyze the data the Android app collects. This new foray into data science will allow Tala to make better business decisions and continue to our inspire user experience (UX) and back-end app improvements.

Since our partnership began, Tala has successfully secured two rounds of funding: $30 million during Series B Funding (2017) and $50 million during Series C Funding (2018).

Tala is one of the five most popular free apps in Kenya’s Google Play Store. In every market the app has been released, Tala enjoys a 4.5 rating or higher. In 2018, Tala was nominated for a Google Play Award.