UGANDA – Ensibuuko, a Ugandan fintech start-up, has raised a US$1 million funding round to help it scale at home and abroad.

Founded in 2014, Ensibuuko operates a proprietary microfinance platform developed especially for African credit unions (SACCOs) and savings groups. 

The software helps community-based microfinance entities automate their data, processes and payments so as to become efficient in delivering financial services in their communities.

The platform is used by over 200,000 rural customers in Uganda, and is available in Zambia, Tanzania and Nigeria through partners.

Ensibuuko now plans to scale both within Uganda and into further international markets after securing US$1 million in funding from global impact investor FCA Investments.

The goal is to scale rural banking infrastructure and digital financial services to millions of customers in Sub-Saharan Africa, with Ensibuuko also gaining access to FCA Investments’ technical resources and a global network of partners.

The new raise brings total investment into Ensibuuko to US$1.6 million, with the start-up having closed a pre-seed round in 2017 from a group of Canadian angel investors.

It also secured  some grant capital from the GSMA Innovation Fund earlier this year.

Ensibuuko also intends to make major improvements to its newer digital loan and microinsurance products, which target rural customers.

“With this latest investment, Ensibuuko ups its competitive stance in Africa’s fintech space”

Gerald Otim. Founder and CEO, Ensibuuko

In April 2021, Ensibuuko was among the five African start-ups that received grant capital from the GSMA as part of its Innovation Fund for Mobile Internet Adoption and Digital Inclusion, which is backing start-ups in Africa and Asia that help to increase mobile internet adoption and usage.

The GSMA Innovation Fund for Mobile Internet Adoption and Digital Inclusion is the latest such fund run by the GSMA, after other focused offerings in 2019 and 2018. 

Supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the GSMA, and its members, the objective of the fund is to support solutions that seek to address one or more of the following barriers to mobile internet adoption: accessibility, affordability, digital skills, and safety and security.

Offering grants of between US$137,000 and US$344,000, its goal is to support start-ups or small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with innovative new products, services, or business models which can address key barriers to mobile internet adoption and use, driving digital inclusion for those currently digitally excluded, including women. 

The other four from Africa were: Ethiopia’s Africa 118, Nigeria’s ScholarX, Zambia’s WidEnergy, and Zimbabwe’s Zonful Energy. Also selected was India’s Navana Tech, and three Pakistani companies – Vceela, The Orenda Project and Knowledge Platform.

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