Global impact investor, FCA Investments has announced a commitment of USD$1 million (approx. UGX3.5 billion) to Ensibuuko; a fintech startup providing digital financial services to over 200,000 rural customers across Uganda. The firm’s Founder and Chief Executive; Gerald Otim says, the investment will be used to scale rapidly in Uganda and to expand to other markets in Africa.
“With this latest investment, Ensibuuko ups its competitive stance in Africa’s fintech space. The investment will allow Ensibuuko to scale rapidly in Uganda and to expand to other markets as we also intend to make major improvements to our newer digital loan and microinsurance products, which target rural customers,” Otim said.
FCA Investments chief operating officer; Emmanuel Obwori, commended Ensibuuko on its focus on growing customer value and commitment to facilitating last-mile financial services. Stating that the Ensibuuko vision is well-aligned with the values of FCA Investments.
FCA Investments and Ensibuuko have an ambitious target to increase financial inclusion by scaling rural banking infrastructure and digital financial services to millions of customers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ensibuuko will be gaining access to FCA Investments’ technical resources and a global network of partners to allow them build an internal capacity as well as establish strategic relationships across the Sub-Saharan region.
Ensibuuko operates a proprietary microfinance platform developed specially for Africa’s credit unions (SACCOs) and savings groups. Since its launch in 2014, Ensibuuko has developed digital products and services for SACCOs and savings groups and built the infrastructure connecting them to the wider ecosystem of financial service providers including telecoms, insurance and banks.
FCA Investments founded by Finn Church Aid; the largest Finnish international aid organization seeks to leverage the power of long term finance to unlock opportunities for underserved communities and boost job creation in developing and fragile countries like Uganda by investing in impactful and scalable SMEs.
The “impact-first” investment firm has already made several investments in high-growth, impact-driven businesses in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, including Uganda, and most recently in Somalia. Ensibuuko is the first Ugandan fintech investment to FCA portfolio.
In 2019, FCA Investments committed 4 million euros (approx. UGX17.3 billion) to the Ugandan Yield Fund —a fund which targets agriculture-related SMEs in Uganda across all value chains. Yield Fund was launched in 2017 by The European Union, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the National Social Security Fund, backed by The Soros Economic Development Forum.
The fund’s support to agriculture-related SMEs includes supply of agricultural inputs, production and agro-processing within all sub-sectors, post-harvest storage and distribution, but also peripheral activities such as transportation, communications and certification.
The Yield Fund benefits the Ugandan economy by improving an estimated 100,000+ rural household livelihoods, and increasing access to markets for an estimated 26,000+ farmers. It also creates jobs and employment opportunities, ensures food security while generating income, foreign exchange and new export opportunities —all fundamentally contributing to Uganda’s economic growth and the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Emmanuel Obwori, Investments Manager for FCA Investments at the time of the launch said, “Investments in the agricultural sector is the surest way of changing lives in Uganda.”
Some of the key principles from which Yield Fund Uganda was established are about the unique, conducive agri-business environment, work against climate change and the potential of bringing about real change in the lives of smallholder farmers and rural communities.