New Investments

TLcom Capital Closes $154 Million Fund for Early-Stage African Startups

TLcom Capital, a leading African venture capital firm, announced the final close of its second fund, TIDE Africa Fund II, at $154 million.

This surpasses the initial target of $150 million and positions TLcom as the continent’s largest investor in seed and Series A startups.

The fund attracted participation from both new and returning investors, including the European Investment Bank (EIB), AfricaGrow (a joint venture between Allianz and DEG Impact), Visa Foundation, and Bertelsmann.

These join existing investors IFC and CDC Group, who participated in the first close of the fund two years ago, alongside Nigerian investment bank, FBNQuest.

TLcom has traditionally focused on Sub-Saharan Africa, but with this new fund, they are expanding their reach into North Africa, starting with Egypt.

The fund has already made investments in two promising startups: South African fintech company littlefish and Egyptian logistics startup ILLA.

“Our investment strategy remains consistent,” said Maurizio Caio, Founder and Managing Partner at TLcom Capital.

“Similar to our first fund, over 80% of TIDE Africa Fund II’s investments will be at the seed or Series A stage. This allows us to partner with Africa’s most talented entrepreneurs early on in their journeys.”

TLcom will typically invest between $1 million and $3 million initially, with the potential for follow-on investments.

Despite recent challenges in fundraising for African startups, Caio highlights the significant growth of African venture capital since TLcom’s first fund. “Raising our first fund took three years,” he said. “Back then, the concept of investing in both Africa and VC was highly unconventional. Today, the landscape is completely different.”

TLcom currently manages over $300 million in assets and has invested in 17 startups, including the unicorn Andela.

Their previous fund backed successful companies like Kobo360, Vendease, Twiga Foods, Terragon, Okra, and Ilara Health. They have also supported repeat founders like Sim Shagaya, Etop Ikpe, and Grant Brooke.

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