Investment into Tugende - a technology enabled finance company for income generating assets in East Africa.
- Contributing to financial inclusion in the mobility sector -

Toyota Tsusho Corporation ("Toyota Tsusho") and its group company CFAO SAS ("CFAO") have invested 4mil USD through Mobility 54 Investment SAS ("Mobility54") - established in October 2019 as a group joint venture between Toyota Tsusho and CFAO - into Tugende ("Tugende"), a company that operates asset finance business for motorcycles, automobiles and other income generating assets in East Africa, of its Series A fund-raising round.

1. Background

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Micro-SMEs (“MSME”) account for 90% of total employment and are significantly contributing to economic growth. However due to a lack of well-developed social infrastructure and credit scoring capabilities, MSMEs struggle to get their credibility properly evaluated in the financial markets. This in turn constrains their access to finance and limits their capacity to grow their business.

Tugende currently provides more than 22,000 customers who operate taxi or motorcycle taxi business with lease-to-own finance services mainly in Uganda. Taking advantage of its physical network (17 branches in Uganda and 1 branch in Kenya), Tugende also provides its customers with financial literacy education as well as safety driving trainings, and all clients receive medical and life insurance coverage as well as additional safety gear. Tugende is aiming to develop a safe transport infrastructure at each community level and to establish a working environment where MSMEs can grow their business with proper access to finance.

2. Purpose of Investment

This investment is based upon the MOU between Toyota Tsusho and Tugende signed at TICAD7 which was held on August 2019. Through the Toyota Tsuho and CFAO network Mobility54 will provide mobility products and services which meet Tugende customers’ needs and will support Tugende’s acceleration of digital credit analysis process and operations. Furthermore, through the support of Tugende’s business expansion to other countries and regions in Africa, Toyota Tsusho Group aims to create synergies in mobility businesses in Africa.

3. Toyota Tsusho Next Mobility Strategy

Toyota Tsusho Group is to pursue the MaaS/CASE business in Africa through Mobility54 based upon its mid-term strategy of “Africa” and “Next Mobility”, so as to contribute to solving the social challenges in the mobility industry in Africa.

Safety driving training Branded motorcycle

4. Outline of Tugende

Company Name
Operating Locations
Uganda and Kenya
Founder & CEO Mr. Michael Wilkerson
Business Description
Asset Finance Provider for Income generating Assets in Uganda and Kenya

5. Outline of Mobility 54 Investment SAS

Company Name
Mobility 54 Investment SAS
Sèvres, France
President & CEO Mr. Takeshi Watanabe


Business Description
Investment and financing with start-up companies. Generation of synergies with Toyota Tsusho/CFAO group.