ImpactAlpha, August 3 – Ugandan startup Tugende launched in 2013 to help motorcycle taxi, or “boda,” drivers finance the purchase of a motorcycle. Most drivers don’t have the cash to by a bike outright, but by owning their own bikes rather than renting them, drivers can double their daily take-home income. That can “can lift the whole household above the $2 a day poverty line,” Tugende founder Michael Wilkerson said.
Tugende has helped 12,000 boda drivers finance a motorcycle through their rent-to-own model, which takes about 20 months to payoff. Five thousand drivers have paid off their vehicles.
A $5 million loan from OPIC will allow Tugende to expand its boda financing to more drivers, who also receive safety, financial planning and customer service training from the company.
The financing round is the largest Tugende has raised since it launched. The company previously raised just over $1 million in early debt and equity rounds in 2013 and 2015 and last year, structured a unique receivable financing deal with Lendable.