TLcom, an Africa-focused venture capital firm has secured its first round of $70 million in its new $150 million Africa-focused tech fund, a second version of its TIDE Africa Fund closed in 2020.
According to a press release, the new fund will be used to expand TLcom’s existing focus on fast-growing, tech-enabled African businesses to Egypt, as well as strengthen its long-standing presence in East and West Africa.
The funding round was led by Allianz insurer, through its joint venture, AfricaGrow as well as DEG Impact (German Investment Corporation) and a host of new and returning investors including Bertelsmann, King Philantropies, the TLcom and FBNQuest from the private sector. Similarly, major DFIs such as CDC Group (the UK’s development finance institution), IFC, Proparco and Swedfund also participated in the deal.
Maurizio Caio, Nairobi-based Founder and Managing Partner at TLcom said African tech has secured more high-value financing rounds, exits and M&As than ever before and this is only just the beginning since the closing of its previous funds.
He said, “As we partner with some of the world’s leading global investors for our new fund, this is not only an endorsement of the massive value generation upside on the continent, but also of our proven track record in identifying and supporting entrepreneurs successfully winning and redefining Africa’s key verticals.
Abhinav Sinha, Director and Head of Technology and Telecom at CDC said, “We are excited to expand our partnership with TLcom. The fund’s focus on business fundamentals coupled with deep understanding of local context has been instrumental in identifying market shaping businesses and innovative entrepreneurs in Africa. 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.”
Martin Ewald, Lead Portfolio Manager Impact Investments, AfricaGrow/Allianz Global Investors, “One thing is clear to those who are close to the African VC market: it will grow. We at AfricaGrow believe much more is possible in terms of capital influx into the continent especially in the VC space. There is considerable upside for everyone if investment activities accelerate even more: African businesses can boost productivity, gain in terms of competitiveness and technological edge and tens of millions more Africans could gain stable employment while generating returns for investors.”
On the deal, Ijeoma Agboti, Managing Director at FBNQuest Funds, FBNQuest Funds said it is pleased to have participated in the first close of TLcom’s second edition of the pan-African Tech Fund (TIDE Africa Fund II) following its first close commitment to the manager’s maiden fund (TIDE Africa Fund I).
It said, “Our 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 with strong business fundamentals and implementing value creation strategies that improve the operations and profitability of these companies.
“We remain confident that TLcom is well-positioned to continue to deliver on our shared objective to provide capital, the required operational support and access to international partnerships to technology companies in the Africa region through the TIDE Africa Fund II. At FBNQuest Funds, we recognize the transformational role that technology must play in narrowing the gap between industries in Africa and the rest of the world, and we are keen to play a pivotal role in enabling this growth.”