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    HomeEcosystem NewsVenture Capital & Funding SourcesTLcom Capital Raises New $154 Million, to Target More Southern African and...

    TLcom Capital Raises New $154 Million, to Target More Southern African and Egyptian Tech Startups

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    TLcom Capital, a venture capital firm with a track record of backing notable east and west African tech startups over the past seven years, announced today the completion of its latest funding round. This round, which nearly doubles its previous fundraising efforts, has attracted investments from both the United States and Europe, underlining the growing interest in Africa’s burgeoning tech sector.

    The fundraising landscape for Africa’s tech industry has witnessed significant activity in recent months, with VC firms collectively raising over $655 million since November. TLcom’s achievement adds to this momentum, following on the heels of Partech’s Africa fund, which secured $300 million in February, and Norrsken22’s $205 million raise five months prior.

    Expanding its reach beyond its traditional strongholds in east and west Africa, TLcom Capital is now eyeing opportunities in southern African and Egyptian tech startups, aiming to establish a foothold in the continent’s largest markets to attract further investment.

    Maurizio Caio, Managing Partner at TLcom, emphasized the evolving perception of Africa’s tech landscape among global investors. He noted, “It’s never popular to raise something for technology in Africa, but it’s becoming more acceptable for global capital.”

    TLcom’s first fund, completed in 2020 after a three-year effort, totaled $71 million, which was strategically deployed across 11 companies. With a focus on early-stage ventures, the firm plans to allocate investments of up to $3 million from its newly raised capital.

    The timing of TLcom’s fundraising is particularly poignant amidst a broader global downturn in tech funding. According to a report by Partech, African tech companies received $3.5 billion in equity and debt funding in 2023, marking a 46% decrease from the previous year, surpassing the estimated 38% decline observed globally.

    Backing TLcom’s efforts are a diverse group of investors, including development finance institutions such as the European Investment Bank, AfricaGrow — a joint venture between Allianz and DEG — the Visa Foundation, and various family offices.

    Caio expressed confidence in TLcom’s investment strategy, particularly its focus on generating substantial returns for shareholders. He affirmed, “Despite the economic downturn, Africa is becoming more relevant in the strategies of a lot of players globally.”

    While TLcom is among a select few funds exclusively dedicated to investing in Africa, international investors like Tiger Global and SoftBank have also shown intermittent interest in the region. TLcom boasts a robust portfolio, including investments in companies like Kobo360 and Andela, which has received funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

    Caio noted the evolving landscape for tech investment in Africa, stating, “There is evidence that actual companies can scale in Africa and some big exits have happened. There’s less of a pioneering feeling, and VCs are less likely to get fired for investing in Africa as you would have been six or seven years ago.”

    He concluded by emphasizing the importance of tangible returns, stating, “Success for us is finding good evidence of returns.”

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