Business

Tala: 2022 CNBC Disruptor 50

Founder: Shivani Siroya (CEO)
Spear : 2014
Headquarter: Santa Monica, California
Funding:
$362.1 million
Evaluation: $800 million (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
machine learning
Industry:
fintech
Previous appearances on the Disruptor 50 list: 2 (No. 20 in 2021)

Fintech startup Tala continues its mission to improve the financial health of underserved and underbanked populations.

Founded in 2011 by Shivani Siroya, the Santa Monica-based company uses its mobile platform to provide access to loans ranging from $10 to $500 to people in India, Mexico, the Philippines and India. Using its Android app to create a credit profile for a user by reviewing their texts, merchant transactions and other behavioral data to create a risk profile, Tala seeks to approve loans in minutes compared to traditional banks or to online lenders, who often rely on a credit score or financial background check to determine eligibility.

In October, Tala closed a $145 million Series E funding round to further expand its options for borrowing, saving and managing money. At that time, Tala said he loaned more than $2.7 billion to more than six million people.

The company has raised over $350 million in venture capital from investors including PayPal Ventures, GV, and Revolution Growth.

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“From the very beginning, we’ve been very intentionally focused on building a global platform that is truly scalable in these regions, but also has the ability to be localized,” Siroya said during a CNBC livestream. TechCheck” last October.

In May 2021, it partnered with Visa to create a platform where users can incorporate cryptocurrencies into transactions, including digital payments, starting with stablecoin USDC. Tala also highlighted the ability for users to send money across borders using digital currencies, but efforts remain in exploratory stages and not yet rolled out in a functional way for users.

It also contributes to Tala’s overall goal of becoming the primary financial account for the world’s underbanked, a path that Siroya says is not about competing with banks, but rather creating a financial system that works for everyone.

“There’s a lot of leakage in the financial system, especially for the underserved. They have to spend a lot of time going to physical places, there’s money spent on transportation, and then there’s additional fees to collect their money and use it,” Siroya said.

“So we’re really looking to make sure that they have a safe place to use their money more effectively, and that’s what we think about in terms of crypto: how can we use this technology to really make sure that we support the essential movement of money.”

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Tala: 2022 CNBC Disruptor 50

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