Mobile loan service Tala has received Ksh. 11 billion ( USD 110 Million) series D funding to expand its business operations in the countries it operates in.
The new round was led by RPS Ventures with participation from GGV Capital and previous investors including IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital, Data Collective VC, ThomVest Ventures and PayPal Ventures. Kabir Misra, Founding General Partner at RPS Ventures, has also joined Tala’s board of directors. Tala has raised an additional Ksh. 1 billion ($100 million) in debt financing over the past year, including Ksh. 500 million ($50 million) led by Colchis Capital specifically for the Kenyan market.
Tala plans to launch new products and it also now offers free financial education and community building services, both online and offline in Kenya. The company is also piloting a new micro-insurance product in Kenya.
Tala launched in Kenya in 2014 and became the first in the world to offer unsecured loans via smartphone. They offer their loans in Kenya through an Android app on the Google Playstore. The company has 2.5 million customers in Kenya and it recently celebrated its five year anniversary through a series of customer appreciation and financial education events.
The loan service was initially known as Mkopo Rahisi before rebranding to Tala in 2016. The service was first launched in Kenya in 2014. It is a product of Inventure which was founded by Shivani Siroya, who also serves as the CEO.
The company now operates in Kenya, Tanzania, Philippines, India, and Mexico and has plans to expand to several other countries in the next five years. It has disbursed loans to over 2.5 million customers. Tala is backed by leading venture and impact investors including PayPal, Revolution Growth, IVP, and Lowercase Capital. Tala is headquartered in Santa Monica with additional offices in Nairobi, Manila, Dar Es Salaam, Mexico City, and Bangalore.
The service used to give loans to customers of upto Ksh. 10,000 (USD 100) in Kenya but it was increased to Ksh. 50,000 (USD 500). The loans are available through an Android app and then disbursed via Safaricom M-Pesa.
If you qualify to get the loan, you can choose to repay in two installments within a month or the full amount at the end of the month. Once your loan has been approved it is sent to your Safaricom number via M-PESA. Loan repayments are also done via Safaricom M-PESA (Paybill number 851900).
One you repay a loan on time, your loan limit increases. There are three loan tiers on Tala:
- Bronze: Ksh. 500 – Ksh. 4,999
- Silver – Ksh. 5,000 – Ksh. 9,999
- Gold – Ksh. 10,000 – Ksh. 50,000
The Tala interest rate is between 11% & 15% which is high when compared to its competitors
- Branch – 8.4%
- M-Shwari – 7.5%
- KCB MPESA – 4-6% per month