In brief: PayPal-backed money lender Tala raises US$110M to enter India

by Smarty
  • Tala, a Santa Monica, California-headquartered startup that creates a credit profile to provide uncollateralized loans to millions of people in emerging markets, has raised US$110 million in a new financing round to enter India’s burgeoning fintech space.
  • The Series D financing for the five-year-old startup was led by RPS Ventures, with GGV Capital and previous investors IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital, Data Collective VC, ThomVest Ventures and PayPal Ventures also participating in the round.
  • The new round, which takes the startup’s total fundraising to more than US$215 million, valued it above US$750 million.
  • Tala has also raised an additional US$100 million in debt, including a US$50 million facility led by Colchis in the last year.
  • Tala looks at a customer’s texts and calls logs, merchant transactions, overall app usage and other behavioral data through its Android app to build their credit profile. 
  • Based on these pieces of information, its machine learning algorithms evaluate the individual risk and provide instant loans in the range of US$10 to US$500 to customers.
  • This model is different from how banks and most other online lenders assess a person’s eligibility for a loan. Banks look at a user’s credit score while most online lenders check the financial history.
  • Tala is also much faster. It approves loans within minutes and disburses the money via mobile payment platforms.

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