TLCom TIDE Africa Fund

Kenya, Nigeria Communications and IT Services, Education, Health, Financial services

TLcom is an Africa-focused venture fund investing in early-stage businesses that leverage technology to improve suppliers and consumers’ market access and participation in key sectors of the economy such as education, agriculture, transportation and logistics, healthcare, and financial services. Through the TIDE Africa Fund, TLcom has backed some of Africa’s most prominent early-stage companies, including Kobo360, Andela and Twiga Foods.

Our investment

CDC's investment in TIDE underlines our commitment to supporting innovation geared towards delivering large scale development outcomes for consumers, suppliers, small-scale entrepreneurs, and their employees in sub-Saharan Africa. By supporting a venture capital fund that is backing innovative and highly scalable companies in Africa, CDC can play a catalytic role in supporting the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems. The rapid growth of these companies will be crucial to absorb the growing working-age population and solve specific market challenges facing businesses and consumers.

Impact

Promote economic opportunities by creating jobs and enhancing access to more affordable goods and services for productive use (SDG targets 8.5, 1.4)

How?

CDC's commitment will support TIDE to invest in highly scalable early stage companies. TIDE will support their growth and large-scale employment creation, both directly and through the services they provide to other market stakeholders. By achieving exits and top quartile financial returns, the fund can help demonstrate the viability of venture capital investing in sub-Saharan Africa and mobilise more capital in this segment. It will take five to ten years and repeat financial success of investors such as TLcom for other commercial investors to enter the venture capital segment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Suppliers, employees, and consumers

Sub-Saharan Africa (primarily Nigeria and Kenya)

Primarily low-income and middle-income.

Grid Score Contribution

2.2-2.5

To help us direct our investments, we use a tool called the Development Impact Grid. The Grid scores every investment we plan out of a score of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in the country and whether investment in that sector will lead to jobs.

  • Capital not offered in sufficient quantity by the commercial market.
  • CDC will help reduce execution risks and any negative impact risks by providing knowledge and advice towards implementing best practices on environmental, social and business integrity and incorporating risk-based approach on environmental and social issues for early-stage companies.
Risk
  • Execution: The impact case relies on the fund's ability to select those early-stage companies that will achieve scale, and deliver exits and attractive financial returns which would result in both job creation and long-term demonstration effect.
  • External: External factors that are independent of the fund's performance may dissuade commercial investors to invest in early stage companies in sub-Saharan African.

Environmental and social aspects

We are working closely with the fund manager to improve its existing environmental and social management system, including delivering an action plan.

Key facts

Status:
Active
Region

Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

:
Africa, Southern Africa
Sector

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people. For funds, the sectors listed here are those the fund has invested in so far.

:
Communications and IT Services, Education, Financial services, Health
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

:
Intermediated investment
Fund manager:
Tide Africa GP LP
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date CDC committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that CDC committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

:
December 2019
Amount

For direct investments, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that CDC has committed to the fund.

:
$15m
Domicile

This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.

:
Mauritius

Investments made by this fund

  • Active
  • Exited
Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Ajua Kenya Africa, East Africa Communications and IT Services October 2017 Active
Andela Africa Education October 2017 Active
Terragon Nigeria Africa, West Africa Communications and IT Services May 2018 Active
Kobo 360 Nigeria Africa, West Africa Communications and IT Services November 2018 Active
twiga Foods Kenya Africa, East Africa Communications and IT Services November 2018 Active
uLesson

uLesson is one of the largest and fastest-growing online learning platform in West Africa. The platform leverages best in-class teachers, media, and technology to create high-quality, affordable and accessible education for African students.

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Kenya Africa, East Africa Education November 2019 Active
Okra

Okra is a Nigerian fintech startup, which allows individuals to connect their bank accounts directly to third party applications.

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Nigeria Africa, West Africa Communications and IT Services March 2020 Active
Shara Africa Communications and IT Services May 2020 Active
Ilara Health Inc

Ilara Health produces diagnostic equipment for doctors and hospitals in Africa. Its products enable tests to be carried out in doctors' surgeries without the need for people to visit labs

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Kenya Africa, East Africa Health September 2020 Active
Pula

Pula is an agricultural insurance and technology company that designs and delivers innovative agricultural insurance and digital products. It aims to help smallholder farmers endure yield risks, improve their farming practices, and bolster their incomes over time.

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Kenya Africa, East Africa Financial services October 2020 Active
Vee8 International Holdings Inc

V8 works with work with entrepreneurs in Africa and provides them with tools, resources, knowledge and expertise.

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Nigeria Africa, West Africa Communications and IT Services December 2020 Active