TLcom Capital Raises $70m to Back African Tech Startups

By January 29, 2022 NEWS

TLcom Capital, a venture capital firm, says it has secured $70 million for its $150 million fund to invest in African tech-enabled businesses.

The firm announced this in a statement on Thursday. With its new fund, TLcom said it will add an additional 20 early-stage startups across Africa to its portfolio with an emphasis on seed and Series A stages.

It added that it would target entrepreneurs tackling some of the continent’s most complex challenges in sectors, including fintech, mobility, agriculture, healthcare, education and e-commerce.

TLcom said a second close of the fund is expected later in 2022. “With the first close in line with the total size of its TIDE Africa Fund closed in 2020, TLcom’s second fund sees participation from Allianz, the world’s largest insurance company, through AfricaGrow, its joint venture with DEG Impact (German Investment Corporation), as well as a host of new and returning investors including Bertelsmann, King Philanthropies, the TLcom team and FBNQuest from the private sector, and major DFIs such as CDC Group (the UK’s development finance institution), IFC, Proparco and Swedfund,” the statement reads.

“With its new fund, TLcom will expand its existing focus on fast-growth, tech-enabled African startups to Egypt, as well as strengthen its long-standing presence across East and West Africa.”

The company said it has invested in 12 African startups including Andela, Ajua, Autochek, Ilara Health, Kobo360, Okra, Pula, Seamless HR, Shara, Terragon Group, Twiga Foods and uLesson.

Speaking on the launch of the new fund, Maurizio Caio, managing partner at TLcom, said: “In order to contribute to unlocking the next phase of Africa’s huge economic upside, we’ll be mobilising our new fund to strengthen our partnership with African founders, with a special emphasis on female entrepreneurs, as well as our role as the leading local partner of choice for global VCs increasingly looking at Africa.”

“We are excited to expand our partnership with TLcom. The fund’s focus on business fundamentals coupled with a deep understanding of local context has been instrumental in identifying market-shaping businesses and innovative entrepreneurs in Africa,” Abhinav Sinha, director and head of technology and telecom at CDC (soon to become British International Investment), said: “We are confident that our continued relationship will further amplify TLcom’s ambitions to accelerate impact to consumers and businesses across Africa’s diverse markets.”

Ijeoma Agboti, managing director at FBNQuest Funds, said the company’s decision to back TLcom on its second fund was based on the fund manager’s demonstrated track record of investing in high growth tech companies and implementing value creation strategies that improve the operations and profitability of the companies.

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