Home Venture Capital Africa-focused VC TLcom Capital closes $154m early-stage fund

Africa-focused VC TLcom Capital closes $154m early-stage fund

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Africa-focused venture capital company TLcom Capital has announced the final close of its US$154 million Tide Africa II early-stage fund, which is focused on seed and Series A ventures.

Founded in 1999 and with offices in Lagos, Nairobi and London, TLcom Capital has US$350 million of assets under management across Africa and Europe. The firm is Africa’s largest seed and Series A investor, and it has now confirmed with this was the close of the oversubscribed TIDE Africa Fund II.

At US$154 million, the final close of TLcom’s second fund for technology in Africa is more than twice the size of its first fund, and will accelerates the firm’s mission to partner with elite founders to tackle Africa’s biggest and most complex challenges with innovative solutions that will unlock massive value in the continent’s critical sectors.

TIDE Africa II sees participation from several new, high-profile LPs alongside returning LPs from the firm’s first Africa-focused fund, TIDE Africa Fund I, closed in 2020. These include the European Investment Bank (EIB), Allianz and DEG Impact’s joint venture AfricaGrow, Visa Foundation. and Bertelsmann.

With this second fund, TLcom Capital maintains its early-stage, multi-sector focus and expands its mandate beyond Sub-Saharan Africa to Egypt. TIDE Africa Fund II will make initial investments of US$1 million to us$3 million, maintaining significant follow-on capacity to support strong portfolio performers into their growth stages, where the fund continues to see massive upside potential. 

Doubling down on TLcom Capital’s established presence in West and East Africa, the fund has already made its first investments in South Africa and Egypt with LittleFish, a software company enabling payments and banking products for retail-focused SMBs, headquartered in Cape Town, and ILLA, a middle-mile logistics platform headquartered in Cairo.

“TLcom now counts among a small number of venture capital firms that have raised multiple substantial funds for technology in Africa. This is a testament to the quality of our team and the trust we’ve established with our limited partners. It’s also a major endorsement of our long-term view on Africa’s massive upside,” said Maurizio Caio, founder and managing partner at TLcom Capital.

“We are maintaining the same investment strategy for TIDE Africa Fund II as we had for our first fund, which made over 80 per cent 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. We’re also excited to spend more time in the Egyptian ecosystem, co-investing alongside the most active local funds. TLcom is well on its way to realising our ambition of becoming Africa’s most sought-after early-stage VC and a truly pan-African firm.”

TLcom Capital already supports a number of the continent’s fastest-growing startups, including uLesson, Autochek, Pula, Fairmoney and Andela.

“Across Africa, access to capital remains limited, especially for early-stage startups,” said Ambroise Fayolle, vice president and head of investments at the European Investment Bank. “At the same time, a young, technology-savvy population provides fertile ground for young companies. Africa’s startup ecosystem has the potential to drive inclusive economic growth and foster positive social change, which the EIB is happy to support. Through our investment in TLcom’s TIDE Africa II Fund, we expect to build and expand on the success and impact of the first TIDE Africa Fund, delivering much-needed capital to the most promising high-growth companies.”

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