Anyone with a smartphone in Tala’s markets can apply for a loan and receive an instant decision, regardless of their financial history. To verify a user’s identity and assess creditworthiness, Tala reviews social connections, texts and calls, merchant transactions, app usage, and personal identifiers which serve as a proxy for traditional financial data. Approved borrowers receive fast, personalized loans and over time are able to build a digital credit history.
Tala founder and CEO Shivani Siroya started her company in 2011 after two-and-a-half years doing field research for the United Nations Population Fund on the impact of microfinance on entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Based in Santa Monica, California, Tala currently operates in Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico, India and the U.S.