NALA's $10m seed, TLcom's $70m first close

January 28, 2022
4 min read

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Hello there.

Today, I’m discussing:

  • NALA's $10m seed
  • TLcom's $70m first close

NALA's $10 million seed round 

The NALA Team
Source: Techcrunch

NALA, a Tanzanian cross-border payments company, has raised a $10 million seed. The round was led by Amplo, Accel, and Bessemer Partners, with participation from local investors like DFS Lab. 

Also, Jonas Templestein, Co-founder and CTO of Monzo; Vladimir Tenev, Co-founder and CEO of Robinhood; Alex Bouaziz, Founder of Deel; Laura Spiekerman, Co-founder of Alloy; Peeyush Ranjan, Head of Google Payments; and early employees of Revolut and TransferWise took part in the round.

Founded by Benjamin Fernandes (CEO and Founder) in 2018, NALA enables cross-border payments from the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union to Africa. 

Following its pre-seed round in 2019, the company established a mobile money service in East Africa and grew it to over 250,000 users. 

However, in 2021, NALA began testing international money transfers after some users expressed interest in transferring funds from the United Kingdom to East African countries (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania), ushering Tanzanian fintech into the remittance business.

The platform allows payments from the United Kingdom to Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Ghana. NALA claims it has experienced significant growth. And in the last six months, more than 8,000 customers have moved over $8 million in transaction volume to Africa.

What's more, NALA, which is currently available in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, and South Africa, intends to be operational in 12 African countries by the end of the year, including Nigeria. It will also launch a crowdfunding campaign this year, allowing some of its users to own some shares in the company.

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TLcom's $70 million first close 

Source: Supplied

TLcom, an Africa-focused venture capital firm, has announced a first close of $70 million for its new $150 million Africa-focused tech fund. 

Allianz, the world's largest insurance company, participated in this close through AfricaGrow, its joint venture with DEG Impact (German Investment Corporation). Others include Bertelsmann, King Philanthropies, the TLcom team, and FBNQuest from the private sector, with major DFIs like CDC Group (the UK's development finance institution), IFC, Proparco, and Swedfund. 

The firm was founded in 1999 and is led by Founder and Managing Partner Maurizio Caio in Kenya, Senior Partner Dr Omobola Johnson in Nigeria, Partners Andreata Muforo in Kenya, and Ido Sum in the UK. With offices in Kenya, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom, TLcom invests at all stages of the venture capital cycle and manages a diverse portfolio of tech-enabled startups in agriculture, education, data analytics, and logistics.

It claims to manage $350 million in venture capital assets across Africa and Europe.

TLcom will use the fund to expand its current focus on fast-growing, tech-enabled African startups to Egypt and to strengthen its long-standing presence in East and West Africa. 

The firm expects to add 20 more early-stage startups to its portfolio, focusing on seed and Series A stages, and will target entrepreneurs tackling some of the continent's most complex challenges in sectors like fintech, mobility, agriculture, healthcare, education, and e-commerce.

It already has one of the most diverse portfolios in African technology with 12 startups, including Andela, Ajua, Autochek, Ilara Health, Kobo360, Okra, Pula, Seamless HR, Shara, Terragon Group, Twiga Foods, and uLesson.

The fund's second close is expected later in 2022.

To know how TLcom invests, please read: An insight into how venture capital firm, TLcom invests

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Have an amazing weekend ahead.

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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