UGANDA – Tugende, a fintech platform that offers asset financing and digital services to small businesses, has closed a pre-Series B investment round led by Partech Africa, a current investor.

Existing investors, such as Mobility 54, Enza, and Global Partnerships, were joined by new investors, such as the global financial inclusion fund Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II (WWBCP II).

The extra equity funding will enable Tugende to keep its growing pace, continue the rollout of digital-first products, and expand its offerings for new and returning consumers, as well as their communities.

The investment, structured in the first quarter of 2022, will further strengthen Tugende’s balance sheet and shareholder base in preparation for a forthcoming Series B financing.

“Women’s World Banking is dedicated to economic empowerment and we are particularly keen on investing at the intersection of mobility and finance, as the empowerment potential for individuals, especially women, is multiplied,” said CJ Juhasz, Chief Investment Officer of Women’s World Banking Asset Management.

“Tugende’s leadership is visionary, cares deeply about its mission, and brings the experience to achieve its ambitious plans. We look forward to teaming up with Tugende as it drives financial inclusion pan-Africa and increases the number of women served in its business ecosystem.”

In late 2020 and early 2021, Tugende secured US$9.9 million in Series A funding led by Mobility 54 and Partech Africa, with participation from Global Partnerships, Enza Capital, and other angel investors.

Tugende has garnered considerable traction since it was founded. According to the company, it has served over 55,000 customers and is expanding geographically with 23 branches in Uganda and 10 branches in Kenya and more than 900 staff.

“Tugende is committed to innovation and partnerships that remove barriers for people and businesses to build better futures,” said Tugende CEO Michael Wilkerson.

“With partners such as WWB on board, Tugende will benefit from the added expertise in delivering Tugende’s Gender Action Plan and activating more Women entrepreneurs in Tugende’s Ecosystem.”

Tugende, a company founded in 2012, helps Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) acquire income-generating assets through asset finance, technology, and a strategy of high-touch customer care.

Partech Africa set to receive funds from IFC

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is set to make an equity investment worth KSh3.14 billion (US$111.93m) in Partech Africa Fund II, a tech-focused venture capital fund.

The IFC said that it is looking at up to 20 percent of the equity in the fund from its investment, and will commit an additional KSh1.88 billion (US$16.01m) to the asset manager for future joint investments.

In addition to the IFC, Dutch development finance institution FMO announced in April that it was also considering investing KSh3.1 billion (US$26.41m) in the Partech Africa Fund II.

The fund is looking to make early-stage investments of between KSh125.4 million (US$1.07m) and KSh1.88 billion (US$16.01m) in African tech startups dealing with supply chain services, mobile and online consumer services, fintech, and mobility.

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