TLcom closes $154 million fund to back early-stage startups in Africa

TLcom Capital has raised a $154 million fund to invest in early-stage startups, extending its reach beyond Sub-Saharan Africa to Egypt.

TLcom closes $154 million fund to back early-stage startups in Africa
TLcom executives

Despite limited access to capital, particularly for early-stage ventures (as evidenced by a 27.78% decrease in the average seed round size from $3.6 million in 2022 to $2.6 million in 2023 according to BD Funding Tracker), African entrepreneurs are brimming with innovative solutions.

TLcom Capital, a leading African VC firm focused on early-stage companies, is stepping up to address this challenge. The firm has closed its second fund, TIDE Africa Fund II, at $154 million.

This fund is more than double the size of their first and will support tech entrepreneurs tackling Africa's critical challenges with innovative solutions.

TIDE Africa Fund II attracted investment from prominent newcomers alongside familiar names from TLcom's previous Africa-focused fund. This group of investors includes the European Investment Bank (EIB), a joint venture between Allianz and DEG Impact called AfricaGrow, the Visa Foundation, and Bertelsmann.

The new fund broadens its reach beyond Sub-Saharan Africa to include Egypt. TIDE Africa Fund II will invest between $1 million and $3 million initially, with extra reserved for promising companies that excel. This allows TLcom to support these businesses as they grow, where it sees significant potential for high returns.

Building on its existing presence in West and East Africa, the fund has already made its first investments in new territories. TLcom has backed LittleFish, a South African software company helping small businesses with payments and banking, and ILLA, an Egyptian platform that streamlines logistics for businesses.

“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," Maurizio Caio, founder and managing partner at TLcom Capital, said in a statement seen by "We’re also excited to spend more time in the Egyptian ecosystem, co-investing alongside the most active local funds."

Currently, TLcom Capital manages over $300 million in investments. They actively support 17 startups across various sectors, some notable names in their portfolio include Andela, Ajua, Autochek, Fairmoney, and uLesson.

Also read: African tech VC funding declined 51% YoY in Q1 2024

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