An Africa-focused technology fund has secured a USD 70 million close, with support from international banks, investors, and development finance.
TLcom, an Africa-focused venture capital firm with offices in Nairobi, Lagos and London, has secured the close of a fund for African technology investment.
The USD 70 million first close puts the new fund nearly halfway to its USD 150 million target, with a second close due later in the year.
This position was reached with contributions from AfricaGrow – a joint venture between Allianz and DEG Impact, Germany’s development finance institution (DFI) – as well as German publishing company Bertelsmann, King Philanthropies and FBNQuest, as well as United Kingdom DFI CDC Group, France’s Proparco, Sweden’s Swedfund and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.
“Since the closing of our previous fund, African tech has secured more high-value financing rounds, exits and M&As than ever before and this is only just the beginning,” said TLcom founder and managing partner Maurizio Caio. “It is becoming increasingly evident that our sector has broken into a new era of maturity driven by very strong business fundamentals that African founders are demonstrating not only in the fintech space, but across a huge number of the continent’s largely underserved markets.”
“One thing is clear to those who are close to the African VC market: it will grow,” added lead portfolio manager at AfricaGrow and Allianz Global Investors, Martin Ewald. “Much more is possible in terms of capital influx into the continent especially in the VC space.”
TLcom already has investments in Egyptian start-ups and has plans to use the new fund to support expanded investments worth between USD 500,000 and USD 15 million in East and West Africa.
Nairobi-based Caio added: “In order to contribute to unlocking the next phase of Africa’s huge economic upside, we’ll be mobilising our new fund to strengthen our partnership with African founders, with a special emphasis on female entrepreneurs, as well as our role as the leading local partner of choice for global VCs increasingly looking at Africa.”
FBNQuest Funds managing director Ijeoma Agboti added: “We recognize the transformational role that technology must play in narrowing the gap between industries in Africa and the rest of the world, and we are keen to play a pivotal role in enabling this growth.”
CDC Group has plans British International Investment this year, UK-Africa Investment Conference that it has exceeded its planned GBP 2 billion investment in Africa.
Regarding the TLcom investment, CDC director and head of technology and telecoms, Abhinav Sinha, said: “The fund’s focus on business fundamentals coupled with deep understanding of local context has been instrumental in identifying market shaping businesses and innovative entrepreneurs in Africa.”
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