Medmoo gives fuel loans to Lira boda boda riders

By Mark Kawalya

As Covid-19 was ravaging the country and the world in 2020, Denis Orech and two of his Lira University friends came up with a business that would deliver goods and services to residents of Lira town who were confined to their homes due to the nationally instituted lockdowns. 

Using their background in Information Technology, the trio started an e-commerce platform they named Yammie shoppers which allowed users to order everyday goods that they would pay for on delivery basis. 

“Lira being a remote district in northern Uganda, the business did not pick on. One of the reasons for this failure was that we did not have enough capital. People would make orders, but we never had resources to buy and transport the goods to their destinations using our motorcycle,” Orech says.

This roadblock led the group to go back to the drawing board and they decided to start a new business that has taken off impressively in Lira. Denis says that while running Yammie, whenever they run out of money yet had deliveries to make, they would borrow money from an older lady in the area and pay her back after making sales. 

“I realized that this lady was extending loans to even Boda Boda riders. I figured we can do this as well. So, one of my partners happened to be running a fuel station in Amolatar district; we sat down, and I shared the idea. We came up with a model and launched MedMoo in January 2022 with me acting as its CEO,” he says. 

MedMoo is Luo word that when loosely translated means ‘refueling’ closely deriving its nomenclature from the service the firm offers. At its core, the firm onboards riders who are furnished with daily fuel loans which they are repay back after 24 hours of work with an interest of 10%.

“We approach them at their stage and explain what we do. We ask those interested to register. We get their names, number plates, phone numbers and NIN numbers,” Orech explains.  

The boda boda riders are given documents which they fill out that specify the location of their stages and the chairman of the stage. Alternatively, their stage treasure can sign as their guarantor. The riders can then fuel their motorbikes at any of the MedMoo partner fuel station on credit for amounts ranging from shs5,000 to shs20,000.  “We have an employee at all these stations who hand out fuel vouchers to these riders. The employee first confirms their registration status and credit status before issuing a voucher,” he explains, noting that payments can be made in cash or using mobile money.

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