Sand Hill Road VC discovers growth market for micro-loans with Tala

Shivani Siroya is expanding Tala’s smartphone-enabled micro-loans to South Asia and Latin America, backed by IVP, one of Silicon Valley’s oldest and biggest venture firms.

IVP led Tala’s recent $30 million financing round, citing the global proliferation of cheap smartphones and the $2.1 trillion unmet need for credit.

Tala tracks 10,000 data points, including financial transactions and daily movements, to derive a credit score and underwrite loans.

Tala charges 11 percent on its loans; more than 90 percent have been repaid. Tala says it has made more than one million loans in East Africa totaling more than $50 million since 2014.

IVP was joined by Ribbit Capital and other existing investors. “The market is so big,” said IVP’s Jules Maltz. In emerging markets only 7% of female business owners have access to finance. Nearly 40% of Tala loans have gone to women.

On a project for the United Nations, Siroya interviewed 4,500 small business owners in nine emerging markets.

This post originally appeared in ImpactAlpha's daily newsletter. Get The Brief.

Photo credit: TED

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