Africa-Focused VC TLcom Capital Adds USD 31 Mn To TIDE Africa Fund To Close At USD 71 Mn

By  |  February 5, 2020

Africa-focused venture capital (VC) firm, TLcom Capital has today announced that its sub-Saharan Africa-focused fund, known as TIDE Africa Fund, has gained a fresh USD 31 Mn, bringing the total amount to USD 71 Mn.

This comes barely a fortnight after the VC firm announced that it had received an investment of USD 15 Mn from CDC Group into the same TIDE Africa Fund which supports early-stage, high-growth startups across sub-Saharan Africa.

The latest investment round worth USD 31 Mn has attracted international interest, with TLcom confirming participation from the UK based CDC, IFC as well as South Africa’s Sango Capital and Belgium’s BIO.

Armed with these funds, TLcom has its sights on making an additional five to six investments in pan-African companies over the coming 12 to 18 months from seed to later stage and also ensuring capital resources for follow-on rounds for TLcom’s TIDE Africa Fund’s existing, burgeoning portfolio which already boasts the likes of Twiga Foods, Andela, and Kobo360.

Commenting on the new investments in its TIDE Africa Fund, Maurizio Caio, Founder and Managing Partner at TLcom says: “It is time for Africa VC to graduate into a world-class asset class that can generate massive returns. We are excited to bring on board new strategic institutional investors, such as CDC, IFC, Sango Capital, and BIO into the fund that share this view.”

Maurizio Caio, Founder/Managing Partner, TLcom Capital

He adds: “Attracting international investment from such renowned backers into the African VC space reflects the recognition of the work the TLcom team has already achieved in connecting some of the continent’s strongest entrepreneurs with the capital they need to scale.”

TIDE Africa is one of the most active funds operating in Sub Saharan Africa since its first close in 2017, with 6 companies in its portfolio. TLcom claims that over the last 12 months, rounds led or co-led by TIDE Africa have raised over USD 150 Mn for African startups. The VC also takes pride in being named Africa Technology Investor of the Year at last year’s PE Africa Awards.

Omobola Johnson, TLcom’s Senior Partner and Nigeria’s former Minister of ICT, hammers on TLcom’s unrelenting stance when it comes to supporting African startups.

“We are bullish on supporting and investing in tech-enabled African companies due to the opportunities for value generation that they provide. We are known for being an entrepreneur-led VC firm that values Africa-centric innovation, strong leadership teams and businesses who are solving real challenges in the market,” she says.

TLcom Capital has been in existence since 1999. The 20+-year-old VC firm claims to currently have in excess of USD 200 Mn under management across primary and secondary funds. 

The highly experienced team, with Senior Partner Dr. Omobola Johnson based in Nigeria, and Partners Andreata Muforo in Kenya, and Ido Sum in the UK, has consistently leveraged its on-the-ground presence in Africa to develop a broad portfolio ranging from agriculture to education, data analytics, and logistics, focusing exclusively on technology-enabled services and innovation for SSA, across all stages of the venture capital cycle.

As seen in a press release, Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of CDC, the UK’s publicly owned impact investor and largest investor in the Tide Africa Fund, said: “The investment in TLcom provides a critical foundation in our endeavour to plug the funding gap for early-stage companies and bolster entrepreneurship across Africa. CDC is excited to work with TLcom, leveraging technology and innovation to intervene in critical sectors such as education or agriculture and helping to address important consumer and business challenges.”

TLcom has recorded successful Africa VC exits with Upstream acquired by Actis and Movirtu acquired by BlackBerry. The TIDE Africa Fund delivers capital as part of a larger strategic, operational and financial support to the entrepreneur and has completed six investments to date in Nigeria and Kenya.

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