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Uganda’s Tugende closes $6.3m in Series A to scale operations

Tugende, a Ugandan-grown technology-enabled asset finance company operating in Uganda and Kenya announced on September 5, 2020 that it has successfully closed of a US$6.3M Series A investment round.

The round of financing was led by Toyota Tsusho investment fund Mobility 54 according to the statement. Other participating investors in the round include U.S. based Global Partnerships’ Social Venture Fund, current shareholders including Denali Venture Philanthropy and Segal Family Foundation and new angel investors.

The fresh capital infusion will be used by the startup to further grow its ore financing product for motorcycle taxi drivers. The statement also notes that “the new investment will help Tugende further enhance its technology platform, both for internal operations and client-facing offerings—including Tugende’s transparent, dynamic credit score all clients already receive automatically.”

Founded in 2012 in Kampala, Tugende uses asset finance, technology, and a high touch customer support model to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) own income-generating assets.

“Tugende’s focus has always been on meeting our clients where they are today, and finding win-win ways to grow together,” said Tugende CEO Michael Wilkerson. “We started with three motorcycle taxi clients, a tiny office without water, and many negative perceptions about lending to the informal sector and motorcyclists in particular.”

“Our clients have proven that they are creditworthy tens of thousands of times now and want opportunities to drive their own growth. We are committed to expanding those growth opportunities beyond credit alone—something we have already started by providing smartphones, family insurance, and digital credit profiles clients can access themselves,” Wilkerson added.

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