Uganda’s Tech-enabled Asset Finance Firm Tugende Secures $17m Funding
Ugandan fintech lender, Tugende, specializing in asset lending in Kenya and Uganda, has closed a $17m investment round. The funds raised will assist the organization in meeting client demand as well as supporting other technological advancements.
The Nordic Microfinance Initiative (NMI) ($5m), Symbiotics ($6m), and the Lendahand crowdfunding site ($1m) all participated in the round.
Tugende was founded in 2013 by Michael Wilkerson with the aim of creating opportunity through ownership by kick-starting financial independence for Ugandan motorcycle taxi drivers (boda bodas). Tugende’s package includes training, medical and life insurance, safety equipment and hands on support through the journey to ownership.
Recall that Tudende secured $3.6m in a Series A extension round in March this year following the $6.3 million raised in November 2020 that was led by Toyota Tsusho investment fund Mobility 54. The startup has now raised the new fund to support substantial growth and year-end expansion.
CEO and founder of Tugende Michael Wilkerson speaking on the funding said that the startup is committed to expanding the opportunities it offers.
“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 said.
Tugende currently has 17 branches in Uganda and one in Kenya and has already resumed growth in both countries after Covid-related lockdowns.
Tugende recently launched a client app and has invested heavily in its technology backbone for scalability, data analytics, and operational efficiency.
“Tugende is a launchpad for our clients and a partner for many years to come. We are excited and energized about bringing on strong new investors who also share our long term focus and will catalyze our ability to help clients own their future.”