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Microlender Tala raises $110m for Indian push

Microlender Tala raises $110m for Indian push

Tala, a California-based outfit that uses customers' mobile phone data to build credit profiles and make lending decisions, has raised $110 million for a push into the Indian market.

The Series D funding round was led by RPS Ventures, with participation from GGV Capital, IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital, Data Collective VC, ThomVest Ventures and PayPal Ventures. Tala has also raised $100 million in debt.

Tala focuses on improving financial access for individuals in the emerging middle class that are leading creditworthy lives outside of the formal economic sector.

The firm'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 customised credit score, or financial identity.

Credit is disbursed directly to customers’ mobile money accounts in less than five minutes, and customers repay their loans directly from the app. Alternatively, customers can receive and pay back their loans at more than 40,000 physical pickup points.

Launched in Kenya in 2014, the service is now available in the Philippines, Tanzania and Mexico, and has been used in the last year to lend over $1 billion to more than four million people.

The firm has been running a pilot in India for the last year and, with the new funding in place, is now preparing a full launch in the country. Additional markets in West Africa and Latin American are also being considered.

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