Vehicle finance startup Moove raises $30 mln in debut sukuk

Moove, which was founded in Nigeria and provides revenue-based vehicle financing, said on Thursday it is raising $30 million in a private placement Islamic bond debut.

Franklin Templeton's Middle East unit is arranging the sukuk, structured as a sukuk al-istisna, a sharia-compliant debt format.

Moove, which launched in India this year as well as in London, said it aims for at least 60% of the vehicles it finances to be electric.

"Moove will use the funds to scale to 2,000 EVs in the UAE over the coming year," Ladi Delano, its co-founder and co-chief executive, said in a statement.

"Moove estimates that this fleet of EVs will contribute to a reduction of over 5,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year to help cities like Dubai meet their ambitious Net Zero targets."

Moove's equity investors include Tekton Ventures, Palm Drive Capital, MUFG Innovation Partners, Clocktower Technology Ventures, Speedinvest, Left Lane Capital, AfricInvest and Kreos Capital.

Dino Kronfol, Franklin Templeton's chief investment officer of global sukuk and MENA fixed income, told Reuters that private credit needs support from policymakers to grow in the Gulf.

"This is an asset class that needs nurturing here," he said.

"These are impactful businesses. They create jobs immediately. And there's a lot of financing that can go towards these types of businesses that would really help the economy and their (Gulf) policy goals over the medium term," Kronfol added.

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