Ugandan-based asset finance startup, Tugende, has secured an additional $3.6m equity funding to close off its Series A round.
The funding round was led by Partech Partners. Participation also came from Enza Capital and other regional angel investors.
At the end of the round, the total amount of equity capital Tugende has received amounts to $9.9m.
Tugende, which was launched in 2012 by CEO Michael Wilkerson, uses asset finance, technology, and a qualitative customer support model to help micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) own income-generating assets.
While there are other firms renowned for helping low-income families purchase electronic gadgets, Tugende finds its niche by building a lease-to-own package for motorcycle and taxi drivers across Uganda and Kenya.
Tugende claims to have served over 43,000 clients with more than 16,000 already becoming owners of, at least, one asset. The startup says it is well underway to tackle the $331 billion credit gap MSMEs face across Africa.
After recent expansion to Kenya, the start-up is planning to further its geographical coverage.
This, Tugende plans to do with its more than $20M debt capital from Partners Group Impact Investments, U.S. Development Finance Corporation, and others.
By increasing its geographical and asset product diversification, as well as creating a further digital ecosystem for growing SMEs and their households, Tugende positions itself to help millions of small-time business owners to increase their household wealth, economic stability and keep building a better future for their families.
According to Tidjane Deme, general partner at the VC firm who co-leads the Partech Africa fund:
“Tugende combines technology and strong operations to aid millions of professionals to grow their businesses and drive economies forward. We will support Michael and his team to build up the tech platform, fine-tune the model and expand in new markets,” Deme said.
Further commenting, Mike Mompi, Partner at Enza Capital, said that:
“Tugende has a demonstrated ability to unlock sustained entrepreneurial activity through its productive asset financing business for informal sector entrepreneurs.”