California-headquartered fintech startup Tala has announced $110 Mn Series D funding. The investment was led by RPS Ventures with participation from existing investors including GGV Capital, IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital, Data Collective VC, ThomVest Ventures and PayPal Ventures.
The funds will be used to enhance Tala’s plans of expansion in India, launch new products centered on financial health, and help Tala grow its team across all its offices including its Bengaluru engineering hub. With the new round, Kabir Misra, founding general partner at RPS Ventures, has joined Tala’s board of directors.
With this round, Tala has raised $219.4 Mn. Along with this, Tala has raised an additional $100 Mn in debt financing over the past year, including $50M led by Colchis Capital.
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Founded in 2011 by Shivani Siroya, Tala offers consumer credit product, instantly underwriting and then disbursing loans. The average ticket size of such loans range from $10 to $500. The company also provides instant credit scoring, lending, and other personalized financial services in emerging markets.
The company claims to have lent more than $1 Bn to 4 Mn customers, with a 90% repayment rate. Tala’s global team is headquartered in Santa Monica, with additional offices in Nairobi, Manila, Dar Es Salaam, Mexico City, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.
Tala’s founder and CEO Shivani Siroya said, “India is one of the most dynamic fintech markets in the world, and we have the product, the world-class team, and now the funding to meet the country’s massive unmet demand for equitable financial services.”
According to Global Fintech Report Q1 2019, more than 1 Mn borrowers and 2 Mn lenders have transacted with lending platforms, with the overall exposure remaining at INR 350 Cr. Further, between 2015 and Q1 2019, the total investment in Indian fintech startups was $7.62 Bn, out of which 25.49% ($1.94 Bn) was for lending tech startups, according to DataLabs by Inc42.
India’s digital lending market has the potential to become a $1 Tn (INR 71 Lakh Cr) opportunity in the next five years, according to a 2018 BCG report. Of this, personal lending is estimated to grow to a $50 Bn market, growing at a rate of 30% every year.
DataLabs by Inc42 has noted that despite consumer preferences shifting towards digital lending, there are some fundamental hurdles in this sector such as lack of financial literacy, the digital divide between urban and rural audiences, and the lack of a robust banking infrastructure throughout the country. But so far digital lending startups have made a good start in India, and have earned plenty of investor attention in the past four years.