The venture capital firm TLcom Capital with plans to invest in up to 12 African startups has completed its Tide Africa Fund at $71 million. The VC firm is beaming its torchlight on tech-enabled, revenue-driven companies in Africa from seed-stage to series B, according to TLcom Capital managing partner Maurizio Caio in the next 1 year and a few months.
The closing of this $71 million Tide Africa Fund by TLcom is one of the indicators that investments specifically focused on African startups have been on an encouraging increase. One of the earlier reliable estimates placed venture capital for African startups at $400 million in 2014, but in 2019 according to Partech, it was $2 billion.
TLcom Capital as a team is made up of Maurizio Caio (managing partner), Ido Sum (partner), Andreata Muforo (partner) and Omobola Johnson (senior partner) who happened to be the former Minister of Communication and Technology in Nigeria. The firm is investing mainly in the top 3 tech hub countries in Africa which are Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
In the African market, TLcom is interested in business to business and business to very small business companies. Some of the companies they have invested in includes: Twiga Foods, a Kenyan B2B food distribution company whose main business objective is to improve supply chain operations around agricultural products to ensure that farmers and retailers can easily connect and transact, Nigerian trucking logistics firm Kobo360 whose main objective is to reduce business delivery costs in Africa, Nigerian tech accelerator Andela, Ulesson, etc.
TLcomCapital believes in the massive market strength of the African market and entrepreneurs to attract investors. “We had the advantage of showing some good exits…. The emphasis was also on the gigantic size of these markets that are underserved, the role that technology can play and the fact that the entrepreneurs in Africa are just as good as anywhere else,” said Caio.
The firm is also predisposed to giving the African startups the space to do their thing after investing with no unwanted interferences. “The equation is not just about ensuring employment and inclusion, but also about the fact that African entrepreneurs have to be in charge of their own destiny without instructions from the West,” Caio said.
Finally, African startups that need investment from TLcom Capital are expected to contact their offices closest to them and show what they can offer.