Microlender Tala has proven, in the seven years since its launch, that it’s possible to effectively underwrite borrowers in emerging markets without credit bureaus. Using nontraditional data pulled from mobile phones, the Los Angeles-based startup has extended credit to over 1.3 million customers.
Now Tala is expanding from its existing base–Kenya, Tanzania, and the Philippines–to India and Mexico. That growth will be supported by $50 million in Series C equity funding, led by Revolution Growth, and an additional $15 million in debt.
“Our technology and our data is all scaleable,” says founder and CEO Shivani Siroya. Tala tweaks its technology platform for each market, adjusting factors like the app interface, but uses the same core engine to power new geographies.
In addition, Tala establishes distribution networks specific to each market. In the Philippines, for example, where cash still dominates, the company works with local “padalas,” or bill-payment kiosks, to deliver its loans. In Mexico, Tala customers can make loan payments via Oxxo, a popular convenience store chain.