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Kenya’s lease-to-own Motorbike Taxi lender Watu Credit secures $1.5m from LA-based VC

by Milicent Atieno
watu credit

Motorbikes are increasingly becoming the most popular means of transportation for the average Kenyan. Since their mass introduction into the Kenyan market, motorbikes have proven to have unparalleled versatility especially in remote areas and areas not well serviced by good road networks.

The Motorcycle Assemblers Association of Kenya 2015 stats show that on average eight million Kenyans use motorbike taxis (boda-boda) daily. Watu Credit, a lease-to-own boda-boda lender, based in the coastal city of Mombasa has secured $1.5 million funding from the Shinnecock Partners based in Los Angeles, USA.watu credit

Shinnecock Partners is the sole partner through the lending marketplace Lendable Inc. The funds were secured based on the balance sheet of the Watu Credit lender operations in Kenya. The funds were securing based on future repayments on loads based on the loans Watu Credit advances to its boda-boda clients to grow their individual motorbike taxi businesses.

This funding round will see Watu Credit financially empowered to advance credit to individuals wishing to venture into the motorbike taxi business and are cash-strapped for capital. No doubt, it will inject more numbers of motorbikes onto the Kenyan roads.

Watu Credit wants to expand its boda-boda financing outside the coastal city of Mombasa to cover other areas in Kenya including Central, Western, and Rift Valley areas by the end of 2018.

We’ve benefited from time and cost savings in using Lendable’s digital deal platform. This form of financing means Wat Credit can access working capital to grow its loan book, without having to tie up its balance sheet,” said Andris Kaneps, the CEO at Watu Credit.

For Shinnecock Partners, this is their first debt secured investment by receivables in Africa. The venture capital firm says this lending was made possible through due diligence and predictive abilities of the Maestro risk engine.

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