TLcom’s TIDE Africa Fund has raised $15 million from CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, to support early-stage high-growth start-ups across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
TLcom’s TIDE Africa Fund, with a presence in Lagos and Nairobi, invests in ventures in education, agriculture, transportation and logistics, healthcare, and financial services and has backed some of Africa’s most prominent early-stage companies, including Kobo360, Andela and Twiga Foods, which have collectively raised $250m to date.
Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of CDC, said: “The investment in TLcom provides an exciting opportunity for us to support early-stage companies at a critical stage in their growth and deepen the entrepreneurial ecosystem across Africa.”
In June 2017, TLcom Capital raised US$40 million for its TIDE (Technology and Innovation for Developing Economies) Africa Fund to provide capital for early to growth stage. Its first close of US$40 million – of the US$100 million target – saw the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) commit $10 million each, alongside other African, American and European corporate investors and family offices such as FBN Capital, and Silicon Valley-based Bob King, founder of the Stanford SEED Institute.
At the time, Maurizio Caio, Nairobi-based Founder and Managing Partner of TLcom said, “While the Africa tech ecosystem is still maturing, we don’t see why Africa is any different from other tech investment opportunities across the globe in terms of the magnitude of the investment upside.”
TLcom will invest between $500,000 and up to $10 million per venture, enabling high growth companies to achieve scale and attract later-stage funding from global VC investors, regional PE firms, and strategic partners.
Maurizio Caio added, “We are proud to be working with a strategic partner in CDC, that recognises the entrepreneurial potential of sub-Saharan Africa and is committed to leverage technology to achieve lasting impact and value generation on the continent.”
By identifying and supporting VC funds backing innovative and highly scalable companies in Africa, CDC can play a catalytic role in supporting the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems.
The rapid growth of these companies will be crucial to absorb the growing working age population and solve specific market challenges facing businesses and consumers.
TLcom has already completed six investments including Kobo360, Andela, and Twiga Foods. Kobo 360 provides incremental income to over 10,000 drivers, Twiga to over 17,000 farmers and Andela to 68,000 upskilled software developers.