French development finance institution Proparco has just taken a $ 5 million stake in TLCOM TIDE AFRICA FUND to finance young innovative companies in sub-Saharan Africa.
The funds will be used to help the start-ups to improve people’s access to essential services as the penetration rate of SIM cards goes up. There will be more than 600 million smartphone users in Africa by 2020 making the mobile phone a key development tool that will unlock the access to energy, health, education, transportation, consumer goods in Africa.
The $5 million from Proparco is part of the first $ 40 million round of financing, alongside the EIB and the AfDB and will enable the TIDE Africa fund to meet the financing needs of young African start-ups, as venture capital for these companies is still very little developed in Africa.
With strong experience in supporting innovative start-ups and a deep knowledge of the start-up ecosystem in Africa, the TLcom team will invest in some fifteen companies under the age of five, having crossed prototyping and placing on the market, to finance growth and scaling up.
TIDE Africa Fund (“Technology and Innovation for Developing Economies”) was created to support the development of young start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa whose economic model, based on the exploitation of a digital or digital technology, meets to a need of the local market little or not served. These companies will thus make it possible to improve, through new technologies, access to essential goods and services in urban, peri-urban and rural areas.