Given her impressive track record as the former Minister of Communication Technology, when news broke of Dr. Omobola Johnson's appointment as the lead general partner for TLcom Capital's Lagos arm, we were elated.
Founded in 1999, TLcom Capital has invested in targeted businesses that address technological issues in either large established global markets, or in the development of emerging markets with the potential for a global scale. The firm just raised a $40 million seed fund for African startups. Making the announcement at her office today, Omobola Johnson said:
Over the last two years, we have been able to reach $40 million of commitment tied into our African funding. This funding is a venture capital funding focused on technology, tech- enabled businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. For us it a major milestone and accomplishment in the work we are doing.
According to her, TLcom Capital's goal is to support exceptional entrepreneurs with ambitious market-driven business visions by providing capital and business building skills. So it is not just about funding but also about business support. The management team of TLcom Capital has over 50 years of VC expertise in business development, financing and technology experience throughout Europe, Israel, Silicon Valley and Sub-Saharan Africa.
On how startups can begin to access these funds, Omobola Johnson said:
"Basically, in the process of raising the funds, we have taken a closer look at startups across Africa. Currently, we have a database of about 900 investible companies . We are looking at 10 to 12 companies to invest in. We would be talking to them and getting more perspectives on their businesses and the market opportunities. Hopefully, we would be able to invest in a couple of them. We are looking for companies which have customers, revenue and are looking for capital to grow their businesses into bigger markets".
So if you run a tech-enabled startup with the potential to scale globally here in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries, now is the time to get your books in order and your pitch decks properly done. You never can tell; they might be reaching out to you soon.