A fintech company that offers credit and asset financing to micro, small, and medium sized companies in East Africa, TUGENDE, has raised $10 million from both existing and new investors, including Partech and Women’s World Banking.
KAMPALA, UGANDA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — Fintech company TUGENDE, which provides credit and asset financing to micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) in East Africa, has received $10 million in investment from existing shareholders and from new investors, led by Partech and Women’s World Banking, respectively. Most of the firm’s loans are geared towards motorcycle purchases in Uganda.
- Partech and Women’s World Banking, both existing and new shareholders, have contributed $10 million to TUGENDE, a fintech that offers credit and asset financing for micro, small and medium enterprises across East Africa. The firm is best known in Uganda for offering loans to people buying motorcycles.
- A US-based company, Partech, is one of the most active technology investors in the world, investing in the seed, venture, and growth stages of approximately 200 companies in nearly 40 countries around the world.
- Partech adds to Tugende’s shareholding diversity and complements the individual experience and skills that each contributes to the company’s growth.
- TUGENDE has continued to expand its business in Uganda and Kenya, adding to its strong core package of motorcycle taxis to a broader range of income-generating assets such as four-wheeled vehicles, outboard motors (boat engines), and appliances.
- This year, TUGENDE won the 2022 Financial Inclusion Award at the 16th edition of the African Banker Awards Gala Ceremony held on 25 May in Accra, Ghana, hosted by the Kempinski Hotel. Under the High Patronage of the African Development Bank, the event was part of the Bank’s Annual Meeting programme.
Partech, a US-based venture capital firm, is one of the world’s most active tech investors, investing money in around 200 companies in nearly 40 nations at different stages of their growth.
CJ Juhasz, the Chief Investment Officer of Women’s World Banking Asset Management, commented on the new capital being raised for TUGENDE in order to expand regionally.
“We’re excited to join Tugende’s journey. Tugende is a leader in reaching and de-risking underserved individuals and businesses for financial services to grow and create jobs. Women’s World Banking is dedicated to economic empowerment, and we are particularly keen on investing at the intersection of mobility and finance, as the empowerment potential for individuals, especially women, is multiplied. We look forward to teaming up with Tugende as it drives financial inclusion pan-Africa and increases the number of women served in its business ecosystem.”
Adding Partech to Tugende’s shareholdings will enhance the diversity of the company’s shares and complement each other’s experience and skills.
The combined $10 million investment, which follows Tugende’s recent debt closing, further strengthens its balance sheet, allowing Tugende to increase portfolio growth and address MSMEs’ credit demand following strict lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.
This is what Michael Wilkerson, co-founder and CEO of TUGENDE, had to say.
“Tugende is committed to innovation and partnerships that remove barriers for people and businesses to build better futures.” ”With partners such as WWB on board, Tugende will benefit from the added expertise in delivering Tugende’s Gender Action Plan and activating more women entrepreneurs in Tugende’s ecosystem.”
Going forward with TUGENDE
After emerging successfully from the Covid-19 crisis, Tugende has returned to its high-growth trajectory. In East Africa alone, the MSME credit gap is estimated at $37 billion, with a gap of more than $331 billion in sub-Saharan Africa.
Uganda and Kenya are two countries where TUGENDE continues to expand its footprint. In addition to providing motorcycle taxi services, it has expanded its income-generating assets to include four-wheeler vehicles, outboard motors, and appliances — all of which are used in business.
The client financing packages provided by TUGENDE include comprehensive insurance (product, medical, life), safety equipment, ongoing assistance, and a digital credit profile that can be used to earn additional opportunities such as top-up loans and enhanced insurance for successful clients.
Achieving the big goal
In May this year, TUGENDE won the 2022 Financial Inclusion Award at the 16th edition of the African Banker Awards Gala Ceremony, which was held on 25 May in Accra, Ghana. This event was organized under the patronage of the African Development Bank as part of the Bank’s Annual Meetings programme.
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