Kampala-based Tugende is a tech-driven asset finance company operating in the Kenya and Uganda markets. On October 5th, the company disclosed the successful completion of a US$6.3M Series A investment round led by Mobility 54 – the Toyota Tsusho-backed investment fund.
Tugende launched in 2012 and utilizes asset finance, technology, and a customer support model to assist MSMEs to acquire income-generating assets. Cumulatively, Tugende has raised US$20M in debt capital. Mobility 54 will help with market expansion, technological development, and partnership building.
The recent launch of a client app has been a technological shift that will promote scalability, operational efficiency, and data analytics. Registered active clients earn a digital credit profile allowing them to unlock new opportunities such as rewards, discounts, and products targeted at the top performers.
Tugende has served over 35,000 clients since inception and is currently tackling the $US331 billion gap in credit funding faced by MSMEs across the continent. It expanded into Kisumu, Kenya on the 1st of November 2019. The company now boasts of 17 branches across Uganda and one in Kenya.
The newly secured funds will go into:
- Enhancing technology in its internal relations and client offerings.
- Enhance its technological platform to boost internal operations during client offerings.
- Grow the core financing with motorcycle taxi drivers that accelerates diversification into MSME asset financed products.
In a statement during the launch, Takeshi Watanabe the CEO of Mobility 54 says, “we as Toyota Tsusho / CFAO Group are very excited to work with the CEO Michael Wilkerson as well as his excellent team – on the ground, side-by-side, and under a shared vision, to realise the geographical expansion of Tugende, to continue developing innovative value-added services for its clients, and to build together opportunities for long term growth for informal and MSME entrepreneurs.”
“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,” said Tugende CEO Michael Wilkerson.