Tala Raises Ksh.16.1 Billion to Extend Financial Help to More People

Mobile loan apps lock out new customers over CRB freeze

Tala, the digital lending firm, has raised USD 145 million (16.1 billion shillings) in Series E funding.

Upstart, a company founded by ex-Googlers Dave Girouard, Anna Counselman, and Paul Gu, led the round. The Stellar Development Foundation’s Enterprise Fund participated, alongside new investors Kindred Ventures and the J. Safra Group.

The new funding adds to the over 360 million dollars contributed by existing investors valuing Tala at about 800 million dollars.

Tala plans to use these funds to accelerate the rollout of its new financial account experience, which provides customers with fresh tools to borrow, save and manage their money, all through its loan app.

The firm will also grow its team across Kenya, India, the Philippines, Mexico, and the United States and pull forward plans for both geographic and product expansion, including crypto offerings, it said in a press release.

Tala’s evolved account will offer an expanded range of personalized credit options, including longer-term loans and credit that can be configured to match customers’ income cycles.

Tala was already testing its new product lines in early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated demand for digital financial services.

The company entered India in 2020 and has already had more than half a million users sign up for the platform.

Since launching in Nairobi in 2014, Tala has delivered more than 2.7 billion dollars in credit to more than 6 million customers across the globe.

Every day, more than 12,000 new users globally sign up for Tala’s services.

“Tala has spent the past seven years delivering critical and valued services in markets where the financial system is fundamentally broken for millions of people,” said Shivani Siroya, founder and CEO, Tala.

“This new investment will accelerate our path to becoming the primary financial account for the global underbanked and helping millions more people make progress in their financial lives,” he added.

Paul Gu, Co-Founder and Head of Product at Upstart promised to help Tala to unlock access for the underserved and enhance its goal of serving the next 1 billion people entering the financial system.