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TLcom raises $40m for TIDE Africa

Africa Global Funds
June 28, 2017, midnight

Word count: 472

TIDE Africa, an international venture capital fund focused exclusively on technology enabled solutions and innovation serving Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), has reached its first close of $40m of the $100m target.

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TIDE Africa, an international venture capital fund focused exclusively on technology enabled solutions and innovation serving Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), has reached its first close of $40m of the $100m target.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have committed $10m 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. 

Other investors are currently working with a view to join the final close of the Fund scheduled in June 2018.

“TIDE Africa offers a great opportunity to our investor partners and to global private capital to achieve significant returns and support world class technology entrepreneurs who are working in Africa to create solutions for local and global markets. We look forward to finalizing our first deals and working closely with African entrepreneurs to help them reach their full potential,” said Omobola Johnson, Lagos based Senior Partner of TLcom, and former Minister of Communication Technology in the Nigerian government.

TLcom Capital, the fund manager, was launched in London two decades ago with over $300m under management and tech investments spanning Europe, Israel and the US.

TIDE Africa will provide capital and business building support to world class African entrepreneurs developing technology driven solutions to the Continent’s biggest problems.

The Fund will make equity investments from early to growth stage in the $500,000 to $10m range, focusing on fast growing scalable companies leveraging the high penetration of mobile (now well over 70% across the Continent) to serve the SSA market in large underserved consumer and corporate verticals such as financial services, commerce, energy, health and education, often only available to 20% or 30% of the population. 

Due diligence is under way on the first round of investments.

Maurizio Caio, Nairobi based Founder and Managing Partner of TLcom, said: “In recent years the TLcom team has invested heavily in the Africa VC opportunity. We have opened offices in Nairobi and Lagos, looked at hundreds of tech entrepreneurs in Africa, and successfully invested and exited the best among the first generation of African mobile start-ups, such as Upstream (acquired by private equity group Actis) and Movirtu (acquired by BlackBerry).”

“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,” he said.

“TLcom believes that African scalable tech enterprises represent not only a massive value generation opportunity, but also a unique development tool that can result in job creation and much wider inclusion. Low income segments that still represent the vast majority of local demand can access many basic services only when technology enables affordable solutions for consumers and SMEs”, added Andreata Muforo, Nairobi based Partner of TLcom.


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