How ex-UN staff got data for credit app Tala

Today, the micro lender has serviced more than 4.5 million loans and has lent out Sh25 billion ($250 million) to its customers in Kenya, Tanzania, Philippines and Mexico. “Repayment rates are at 92 per cent with eight per cent accounting for the slow payers. Interestingly, 95 per cent of our clients are repeat customers,” said Ms Siroya, a graduate of Columbia University. Tala says when launching in a country, they rely on diverse cultural differences. “When we got started, we raised investor capital of $1.2 million (Sh120m),” she says of the venture that has employed 220 people, among them customer service, engineers and collectors. Plans are underway to introduce the service in West Africa in countries such as Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria as well as the southern part of the continent in South Africa.