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CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, has committed $15 million (R218 million) to TLcom’s TIDE Africa Fund to support early-stage high-growth start-ups across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

With a presence in the key financial hubs of Lagos and Nairobi, TLcom targets businesses that leverage technology to address African business and consumer challenges in key sectors of the economy such as education, agriculture, transportation & logistics, healthcare, and financial services.

The firm has backed some of Africa’s most prominent early-stage companies, including Kobo360, Andela and Twiga Foods, which have collectively raised $250 million to date.

The CDC investment will support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goals 8, 10 and 9.

Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of CDC, said: “The investment in TLcom provides an exciting opportunity for us to support early-stage companies at a critical stage in their growth and deepen the entrepreneurial ecosystem across Africa.”

Maurizio Caio, Founder and Managing Partner of TLcom said “We are proud to be working with a strategic partner in CDC, that recognises the entrepreneurial potential of sub-Saharan Africa and is committed to leverage technology to achieve lasting impact and value generation on the continent.”

TLcom will invest between $500,000 and up to $10 million per venture, enabling high growth companies to achieve scale and attract later-stage funding from global VC investors, regional PE firms, and strategic partners.

By identifying and supporting VC funds 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.

TLcom has already completed six investments including Kobo360, Andela, and Twiga Foods, each creating large scale economic opportunities through enhanced market access in the logistics, software engineering, and agribusiness sectors.

Kobo 360 provides incremental income to over 10,000 drivers, Twiga to over 17,000 farmers and Andela to 68,000 upskilled software developers.

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