Zambia-based pioneer in productive-use asset financing Rent to Own (RTO) has successfully completed a seed round of 1.05 million USD in equity. The round was led by shareholder AHL Venture Partners, who significantly increased its investment, and supported by Small Foundation and Jordan Engineering (via Serenity Investments).

Rent to Own provides high-impact assets to small scale-entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers in rural Zambia. Offering a unique “all-in-one” package of uncollateralized financing, delivery, installation, and equipment training, RTO empowers its clients to grow their businesses and improve their quality of life. RTO’s flexible, tech-enabled platform can quickly bring new technologies to underserved markets and enable the rapid adoption of innovative assets, such as solar-powered irrigation pumps.

RTO has delivered over 7,000 productive use assets and achieved an exceptional 96% repayment rate since inception in 2010. The company reached its first operationally break-even months in the last two quarters of 2018 and is ready to scale in Zambia and beyond, with a Series- A investment round on the horizon in H1 2019.

“The closing of this Seed Round marks a milestone for Rent to Own in its journey to one million customers. We are excited to have the backing of strong investors like AHL, Small Foundation, and Jordan Engineering (via Serenity Investments), and the continued support of Shell Foundation and others” said Jeffrey Scheidegger, RTO’s CEO.“We’re excited to participate in this last funding round, as we think Rent to Own has developed a viable and scalable business model, to serve the rural base of the pyramid consumer – one of the toughest segments of the market to serve” said Rosanne Whalley, Partner at AHL Venture Partners

“Access to the right equipment is a real solution to unlocking the great potential of entrepreneurs in rural, underserved markets, we’re excited to work with our customers, agents, investors and suppliers to reach 1,000,000 customers” – concluded Scheidegger.

About AHL Venture Partners

AHL Venture Partners is a globally recognised leader in impact investing. Headquartered Vancouver, Canada, and with offices in Nairobi and Abidjan, the fund was founded by the Lundin family with the understanding that supporting the growth of innovative SME’s offers the most promising pathway to strengthening local economic foundations and improving the livelihood of millions in Africa.

About Small Foundation

Small Foundation, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, believes that the creation of income-generating opportunities is central to the eradication of extreme poverty. To that end, Small Foundation supports initiatives that improve business ecosystems and catalyse income generating opportunities for the poor in sub-Saharan Africa, many of whom of smallholder farmers.

About Jordan Engineering

Jordan Engineering works synergistically with its clients across Canada to provide customized, user-friendly industrial software solutions. Eager to also share its time, talent and treasure outside of the industrial realm Jordan Engineering, has invested half of its profits for the past two decades to local and international social impact organizations that align with their purpose of “Engineering Empowerment Integrated with Accountability”.

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