TLcom Capital, an Africa-focused venture capital firm, has achieved a significant milestone by closing its TIDE Africa Fund II at $154 million, marking Africa’s largest early-stage venture capital fund, as announced in an official release. One of TLcom’s notable successes lies in its strategic investments in startups within critical logistics and supply chain management sectors.

TLcom Capital announced the first close of TIDE Africa Fund II in January 2022. Since then, It has doubled its headcount to 15 employees, including new investment professionals in Nigeria and Kenya, to expand its investment and operational capacity. TLcom Capital manages over $300 million and has invested in 17 startups, including Andela, Ajua, Autochek, Fairmoney, Ilara Health, and ILLA.

Other successful startups backed by TLcom Capital include Kobo 360, an e-logistics platform connects demand for long-haul trucks on behalf of large enterprises in Africa with truck owners and drivers. Its portfolio also includes Twiga Foods, a mobile-based B2B supply platform aggregating retail demand for fresh and packaged food in African cities, offering lower costs and higher-quality products.

The TIDE Africa Fund II, managed by TLcom Capital, has received more than twice the amount of its first fund, making it oversubscribed. Several new, high-profile investors and returning investors from TLcom’s first Africa-focused fund, TIDE Africa Fund I, have participated in the fund. The fund has attracted a diverse group of investors, including the European Investment Bank (EIB), Allianz, DEG Impact’s joint venture AfricaGrow, Visa Foundation, and Bertelsmann, indicating strong confidence and interest in TLcom’s mission to support elite founders in addressing Africa’s challenges with innovative solutions.

“Across Africa, access to capital remains limited, especially for early-stage startups,” said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President at the European Investment Bank, in an official release. “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.”

In the press release, Maurizio Caio, Founder and Managing Partner at TLcom Capital expressed his enthusiasm about the fund’s closing, stating, “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”.

“We are maintaining the same investment strategy for TIDE Africa Fund II as we had for our first fund, which made over 80% 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 on its way to realising our ambition of becoming Africa’s most sought-after early-stage VC and a truly pan-African firm,” added Caio.

“Our investment in TIDE Africa Fund II demonstrates our dedication to helping build strong economies where businesses can prosper and generate substantial financial and impact returns. We are impressed by TLcom’s track record of supporting visionary entrepreneurs in developing high-growth business models that can capitalise on Africa’s considerable economic potential,” said Najada Kumbuli, Vice-President and Head of Investments at Visa Foundation. “The firm’s alignment with Visa Foundation’s mission reinforces our confidence that, through this partnership, our capital will help create the next generation of successful and diverse entrepreneurs that will shape the future of the continent,” added Kumbuli.

The official release further highlighted the VC firm is increasing its investment in African tech startups founded by women. Gender diversity and inclusion are central to TLcom’s investment approach, reflected in its majority-female partnership and investment committee. TLcom aims to foster a more inclusive and equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem by deploying additional capital into female-founded tech startups in Africa.

TLcom’s focus on early-stage investments aligns with its mission to unlock massive value in critical African sectors. Its successful exit acquisition by strategic buyers and private equity funds demonstrates its belief in the potential of African companies. The firm is committed to collaborating with tech innovators across the continent.

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