In 2021, Tala was named one of Forbes’ Top 50 Fintech companies in the world and a CNBC Top 50 Disruptor.
The digital lender focused on financial inclusion in emerging markets also raised $145 million in Series E funding and partnered with Galileo Financial Technologies to provide broader digital banking services for consumers in Mexico.
Galileo sat down with Tala’s SVP of Global Business Anay Shah to talk about Tala’s mission and the significant financial impact the company already has had for consumers in India, Kenya, Mexico and the Philippines, and how Tala plans to do even more to increase financial inclusion.
Mission: Tala’s mission is to enable financial access for the 3 billion people around the globe who are underserved by traditional financial services. To accomplish that goal, the company has built an app-based platform that uses alternative credit scoring to offer customers credit and liquidity they can use to make needed purchases, pay bills and grow their own businesses.
Founder: Shivani Siroya Following a career in micro-finance and investment banking, Siroya in 2014 launched Tala with the aim of serving the credit needs of the massive global underbanked segment—doing good while also accessing what the company sees as a $2 trillion market opportunity. Since its founding, Tala has provided credit to more than 6 million people, who collectively have borrowed more than $2.7 billion—using those funds to start and expand small businesses and manage daily expenses. Location: Santa Monica, California
What Galileo Does for Them: Tala has partnered with Galileo to offer full-scale digital banking services in Mexico, adding payment and savings products to Tala’s existing credit offering in the market. Customers now are able to save and earn interest on deposits and spend money seamlessly via digital channels—ultimately, building financial stability and wealth.
Use Case/Testimonial: “One of our earliest customers owned a stationery store in Kenya, and with our loan she was able to invest in inventory and expand her product selection,” recalls Shah. “But what was really exciting for her was that she was able to invest in a second location, hire on a couple of employees, and expand her business and her footprint. “Lending has been the tip of the spear, but if we can enable [customers] to save and grow their money, we really put them back in control of their financial health,” Shah adds.
Impact: “At the end of the day, the customer is at the heart of what we do,” says Shah, noting the average income of Tala’s target customer base is only about $13 to $15 per day. “But they have the same needs and desires that you or I do: They want to invest in their child’s education; they want to expand their business; they want to increase opportunity for their family, and we want to enable them to do that in the most efficient and fair way possible. That’s the only way to unlock this promise and create a more equitable world.”
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