California, US-based Tala, which is named in one of the fastest growing FinTech startups in the world by Forbes, announced the launch of its first engineering hub in Bangalore, India in order to broaden access to credit and financial services.
Tala plans to build India as the hub for its Asian operations, and the Bangalore team will play an integral role in executing Tala’s vision for the market in the region.
Founded in 2012 by an Indian-origin entrepreneur Shivani Siroya, Tala is an innovative, fast-paced mobile technology and data science startup, that provides a credit scoring and reporting platform to financial services institutions in emerging countries. According to Tala, more than 1.3 million people have borrowed through Tala’s smartphone app, which provides instant credit scoring, lending, and other personalized financial services in emerging markets.
According to Tala’s Chief Technology Officer, Johnny Lee, “Bangalore has an exceptional pool of technology and engineering talent, and we couldn’t be more excited to set up Tala’s Engineering Hub here, in the IT capital of India. Engineers here will have the opportunity to work closely with Tala’s existing global offices to develop and launch localized lending products to address the needs of over 700 million financially underserved people in India.”
Led by technical executives which previously held key positions at leading tech firms such as Apple, Uber and PayTM, Tala’s platform analyses unique digital data points including behavioural data, merchant transactions, SMS receipts as a proxy for traditional financial data. Tala will offer a suite of local, customized short-term credit products through a smartphone app that will be available across the country.
The company began building credit scores manually through an SMS reporting tool. Tala’s current product – a smartphone application – was launched in Kenya in 2014. After building and refining Tala’s product in Kenya, the company launched in early 2017 in the Philippines and Tanzania. The company has disbursed upwards of $350 million in credit to over 1,400,000 borrowers in Kenya, Tanzania and the Philippines. Tala is now expanding into India and Mexico.
Tala is headquartered in Santa Monica with additional offices in Mumbai, Bangalore, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Manila and Mexico City. Tala currently employs over 250 people across its offices.
Currently, Tala operates in Kenya, Tanzania, Mexico and the Philippines, where it has broadened credit access to 1.4 million customers and disbursed more than $350 million.
In April, Tala raised $50 million financing round led by Revolution Growth. So far, the startup has raised total funding of close to $110 million from investors including Female Founders Fund, Collaborative Fund and Ribbit Capital, among others.
This year, Forbes named Tala as one of the top 50 FinTech companies in the world, and Tala’s work has been highlighted by the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, TED, and TechCrunch, among others.