Uganda’s Tugende, a for-profit social enterprise which enables boda boda riders to own their own motorcycles has announced a $780,000 in equity and debt from the Segal Family Foundation and Echoing Green and a number of private angel investors, including previous Tugende investors.
Founded in 2010, Tugende aims to use the funds to finance additional leases and meet the increasing demand from its long customer waiting list. The firm will also invest in new locations, new executive hires, and better technology to provide a foundation for even more rapid growth in 2015 and 2016.
Tugende offers an affordable lease-to-own model to help motorcycle taxi drivers own their own motorcycles in 18 months or less instead of renting indefinitely. Payments are comparable to what drivers would otherwise pay in rent, and ownership significantly increases income, job security and road safety for drivers.
“We know that across Uganda and many other emerging markets, motorcycles are driving economies forward by moving people and getting business done. From farmers needing to move produce to professionals stuck in traffic, demand for affordable transport solutions is high, and motorcycles are filling the gap.” said Tugende CEO Michael Wilkerson. “Perhaps more importantly, motorcycles provide hundreds of thousands of badly needed jobs in a region with massive youth unemployment.”Tugende, which empowers motorcycle drivers to won their own bikes says there are approximately 400,000 people making their living with motorcycles in Uganda, and many more in neighboring countries like Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. This round of funfing will help the firm put more bikes into more riders this year.