IFC-backed TLcom Capital raises $154 million for seed and Series A startups in Africa 

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April 22, 2024
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2 min read
TLcom Capital partners, Ido Sum, Omobolaji Johnson, Andreata Muforo, Maurizio Caio, and Eloho Omame

Africa-focused VC firm, TLcom Capital has announced the final close of TIDE Africa Fund II, a $154 million fund for seed and Series A startups on the continent.

The firm had initially set out to raise $150 million for its second fund but exceeded the target.

Two years ago, it announced the first close of the TIDE Africa Fund II, with returning LPs IFC and CDC Group joining Nigerian investment bank, FBNQuest. With the fund now closed, the European Investment Bank (EIB), AfricaGrow, Visa Foundation, and Bertelsmann also join as LPs.

Previous investments by TLcom have been in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, but it will now expand its focus into North Africa, beginning with Egypt. Two investments have already been made from this fund into South African fintech, littlefish, and Egyptian logistics startup, ILLA.

"We are maintaining the same investment strategy for TIDE Africa Fund II as we had for our first fund, which made over 80% of its investments at seed or Series A. With this final close, we’re thrilled that TLcom is in an even stronger position to continue to partner with Africa’s most talented entrepreneurs from early in their company-building journeys," Maurizio Caio, Founder and Managing Partner, said in a statement.

TLcom will make initial investments between $1 million and $3 million and reserve capital for follow-on investments.

African VC has come a long way   

It's been difficult for African startups to raise capital in the last two years, but Caio stresses that venture capital in Africa has come a long way since TLcom raised its first fund.

"When we raised our first fund, it took us three years to go from first close to final close, but it was also a very unpopular investment strategy. I remember one meeting with a family office in Cape Town where they were saying, 'Please just pick either Africa or VC, but both of them in the same investment memorandum is just too much.' Now it's much different."

TLcom has over $300 million in assets under management and has invested in 17 startups, including one unicorn, Andela.

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It's first fund saw it back startups such as Kobo360, Vendease, Twiga Foods, Terragon, Okra, and Ilara Health. It also backed repeat founders Sim Shagaya, Etop Ikpe, and Grant Brooke.

Betting on female founders 

In 2022, TLcom invested $2 million into female-focused fund, FirstCheck, as part of its strategy to boost investment in female founders. As a result, Eloho Omame, who co-founded FirstCheck alongside PiggyVest co-founder, Odunayo Eweniyi, joined TLcom as a Partner.

With more money to invest, it hopes to increase the number of female founders in its portfolio.

Already, 30% of its portfolio companies have female founders, and Caio points out that its majority female team and the annual Africa Tech Female Founder Summit help with deal flow from female founders.

"It's just stupid not to give female founders a chance to grow their companies," Caio says.


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Accidental writer, covering Africa's startup landscape and its heroes. Find me on Twitter @chigo_nwokoma.
Accidental writer, covering Africa's startup landscape and its heroes. Find me on Twitter @chigo_nwokoma.
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Accidental writer, covering Africa's startup landscape and its heroes. Find me on Twitter @chigo_nwokoma.

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