Gozem secures $10m from IFC to finance 6,000 autos in Togo and Benin

12 million. 

That’s the estimated variety of motorcar drivers that Gozem, a Francophone Africa-focused tremendous app, says function in casual markets throughout West and Central Africa. However there’s an issue: these drivers wouldn’t have entry to conventional banks or micro-finance establishments to finance their autos. As an alternative, they depend on cash lenders that cost ridiculous rates of interest—some are as excessive as 70% yearly.

Gozem, which supplies a collection of mobility, e-commerce, and monetary providers to drivers, retailers, and different shoppers, introduced on Friday that it has partnered with the Worldwide Monetary Fee (IFC) to unravel these complications for drivers. 

IFC has devoted a $10 million funding into Gozem’s car financing challenge. This funding will allow Gozem to offer entry to reasonably priced car financing in Togo and Benin, its working markets. 

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This deal comes about 6 months after Gozem closed a $5 million funding and 14 months after it began its car financing program. The corporate mentioned it has already helped greater than 2,000 drivers purchase autos with reasonably priced financing. This new partnership will finance new autos for six,000 extra drivers.

“Motor vehincle drivers in West and Central Africa will want entry to $3 billion {dollars} of credit score services yearly to finance their autos and we’re excited that IFC is inserting their belief in Gozem to be on the forefront of offering reasonably priced financing options to those underserved communities,” Gregory Costamagna, co-founder and co-CEO of Gozem, mentioned in a press release.

Not like banks that require credit score historical past, asset collateral, or guarantors earlier than issuing loans, or third-party lenders who cost cut-throat rates of interest which are solely growing, Gozem merely makes use of drivers’ knowledge already accessible on its platform. The corporate supplies this service by leveraging what Costamagna referred to as its “refined” KYC course of, monetary and behavioural knowledge, just like the variety of journeys accomplished utilizing its app—which will be accessed in a matter of minutes—to calculate drivers’ credit score worthiness. This alleviates drivers from conserving observe of their financial institution statements and information; just by utilizing the app to search out riders and gigs, Gozem is aware of how a lot they earn and the way lengthy they’re prone to take to make their funds.

Gozem mentioned in a press release despatched to TechCabal that for the subsequent 12 months, they can even work with the IFC to check electrical bikes in motovehicle working situations and “construct a inexperienced battery-swapping station community in Togo and Benin to reveal electrical bikes can save drivers cash.”

 Gozem’s Raphael Dana, Costamagna’s counterpart as co-founder and co-CEO informed TechCabal over the cellphone that IFC is beginning a pilot funding to check the influence and scalability of this mannequin and can double down primarily based on the results of the pilot. 

He added that this partnership additionally elements in electrical autos (EV). “We have now put aside 10% of the funding for our EV pilot section. There’s a devoted group engaged on our EV ambition and we have to make sure that the bikes, battery swapping, financial items, and so on. work at scale,” he mentioned.

Gozem launches in Cameroon, its second market in Central Africa

In accordance with the corporate’s assertion, the challenge will “validate electrical bikes and that their adoption at scale is not going to solely cut back greenhouse gasoline emissions considerably, however it’ll additionally assist drivers lower your expenses by way of decrease power and upkeep prices.”

“Electrical autos have the facility to mentioned Aliou Maiga, IFC’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, emphasised that EVs have the potential to “remodel the moto-taxi market in West and Central Africa by reducing carbon emissions and reducing working prices for drivers.” She mentioned that by partnering with Gozem, collectively they may “enhance reasonably priced and inexperienced financing options for moto-taxi drivers to shift to electrical bikes. 

“We hope IFC’s funding for these underserved communities will encourage different buyers and speed up the discount of poverty and greenhouse gasses emissions in these markets,” she added. 

There’s been a major uptick in entry financing initiatives recently. Final 12 months, Asaak went right into a partnership with Untapped International to finance 2,000 bikes in Uganda—each EV and fossil-fuel autos. Untapped International had additionally entered an identical partnership with South African Flexclub. 

Untapped International companions Asaak to finance 2,000+ motorbikes in Uganda

Appears to be like like Gozem is gearing up for some huge funding. In March, Dana informed Africa Report that the corporate was looking for an $80m Collection B—$50 million in fairness, $20m in debt, and a $10 million pre-series B—fundraising because it prepares to develop to new markets like Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Senegal.

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