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Africa’s largest early-stage VC fund exceeds target and draws to a close

The TIDE Africa Fund II is believed to be the continent’s largest early-stage venture capital fund. (Image source: TLCom Capital)

TLcom Capital, an African-focused venture capital firm, has announced the final close of TIDE Africa Fund II at US$154mn

The firm is maintaining its early-stage, multi-sector focus and expanding its mandate to Egypt. TIDE Africa Fund II, which is more than twice the size of the firm’s first fund, will make initial investments of US$1mn-US$3mn and will maintain significant follow-on capacity to support strong portfolio performers into their growth stages.

Maurizio Caio, founder and managing partner at TLcom Capital, remarked, “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.”

The latest fund is oversubscribed and boasts participation from new high-profile LPs alongside returning ones. Participants include European Investment Bank (EIB), Allianz and DEG Impact’s joint venture, AfricaGrow, Visa Foundation and Bertelsmann.

“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,” continued Caio. “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.”

Building strong African economies

TLcom Capital supports a number of the continent’s fastest-growing startups, including uLesson, Autochek, Pula, Fairmoney and Andela, one of the continent’s six unicorn companies. The firm has a solid track record of attracting Africa’s most successful repeat founders, including Sim Shagaya (founder of uLesson, Konga and DealDey), Etop Ikpe (founder of Autochek and Cars45) and Grant Brooke (co-founder of Shara and Twiga).

“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,” said Najada Kumbuli, vice-president & head of investments, Visa Foundation. “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. 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.”

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