By Merit Ibe
Through its recent participation in the 2nd investment vehicle of TLcom Capital (TIDE Africa Fund II – TAF 2), FBNQuest, the investment banking and asset management subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc continues to demonstrate its support to the growth of technology startups in Africa.
TLcom Capital LLP, an Africa-focused venture capital firm recently announced a first close of $70million for its $150 million Africa focused tech fund (TIDE Africa Fund II -TAF2), this achievement positions the firm as one of the largest independent Venture Capital (VC) fund managers fully dedicated to the continent.
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Most of this capital has come from returning Limited Partners (those who backed the first fund), indicating their confidence in the fund manager. These Limited Partners (LPs) include Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) like Sango Capital, IFC, Proparco and CDC Group (now known as British International Investment), as well as private sector and philanthropic investors like FBNQuest Funds and King Philanthropies, respectively. A new investor backing TAF 2 is AfricaGrow – a joint venture platform backed by Allianz (the world’s largest insurer) and DEG (the German DFI).
The new fund gives TLcom the opportunity to expand its existing focus on fast-growth tech-enabled African startups to markets like Egypt, as well as strengthen its long-standing presence across East and West Africa.
In the manager’s first Africa-focused VC fund (TIDE Africa Fund I – TAF 1) which closed at $71million, FBNQuest’s capital contribution in TAF 1 helped TLcom back and catalyse eleven companies directly via co-investments of over US$200million into these companies in subsequent funding rounds. This has helped produce successful tech companies such as Andela, Kobo360, Twiga Foods, uLesson, Okra and Autochek.
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In addition to the above, TLcom has built a robust network in the Africa tech ecosystem with over ten years of direct participation in the space. The fund manager has established ecosystem initiatives such as a CEO Summit – a summit to catalyse synergy and collaboration between CEOs of portfolio companies, and a Tech Female Founders Summit – an event designed to build a collaborative network of African female tech founders.
Speaking on the TAF 2 first close, Ijeoma Agboti, Managing Director, FBNQuest Funds stated: “We recognise the transformational role that technology must play in narrowing the gap between industries in Africa and the rest of the world, and we are proud to have played a key role in enabling this growth.”
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FBNQuest is pleased to have participated in the first close of TLcom’s 2nd pan-African Tech Fund (TIDE Africa Fund II). This follows our first close commitment to the manager’s maiden fund (TIDE Africa Fund I). Our decision to support TLcom on its second fund was based on the fund manager’s track record of investing in high growth tech companies with strong business fundamentals and implementing value creation strategies that improve the operations and profitability of these companies. We remain confident that TLcom is well-positioned to continue to deliver on our shared objective to provide capital, the required operational support and access to international partnerships to technology companies in the Africa region through the TIDE Africa Fund II.
As a leading alternative investments manager, backing the TIDE Africa Fund II adds to the organisation’s selective portfolio of tech focused funds and once again highlights its capabilities in the high growth technology venture capital space.