Tugende, a leading Uganda fintech lender specializing in asset finance in Kenya and Uganda, announced the completion of a new $17 million debt capital round at the end of 2021.
The Nordic Microfinance Initiative (NMI) provided a $5 million local currency facility, Symbiotics provided another $6 million, and the Lendahand crowdfunding site provided $1 million. Tugende acquired $5 million from Goldfinch, an innovative financing platform, for its Kenya sector.
Michael Wilkerson founded the company in 2012, and it leverages asset finance, technology, and a customer service strategy to provide a lease-to-own mobile taxi package for riders. Over 54,000 customers have benefited from the company’s pre-purchase financing package, which includes road safety and financial instruction, medical and life insurance, driver’s licenses, safety equipment, and hands-on support.
Tugende closed a $3.6 million Serie A extension headed by Partech earlier this year in March, which was quickly followed by the $6.3 million raised from Toyota Tsusho’s Mobility 54 in November 2020. Tugende relies heavily on debt financing because of the nature of the business and has raised over $30 million to date to expand its portfolio.
Tugende’s clients have the opportunity to develop a digital credit profile and score as part of their road to asset ownership, which doubles their income. Tugende is expanding into new product lines in both the mobility and non-mobility categories.
Kenya, the company’s second market, now has five branches. The funds raised will assist the company meet consumer demand and waitlists, as well as promote other technology-driven innovations that benefit clients in ways that go beyond the particular asset being financed.
The funds will be used to support significant year-end growth and expansion in 2022.