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TLcom Secures First Close of $150mn Pan-African Tech Fund

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TLcom, the Africa-focused venture capital firm, on Thursday announced a first close of $70mn for its $150mn Africa focused tech fund, firmly positioning the investor to become the largest independent VC firm fully dedicated to the continent.

With a first close in line with the total size of its TIDE Africa Fund closed in 2020, TLcom’s second fund sees participation from Allianz, the world’s largest insurance company, through AfricaGrow, its joint venture with DEG Impact (German Investment Corporation), as well as a host of new and returning investors including Bertelsmann, King Philanthropies, the TLcom team and FBNQuest from the private sector, and major DFIs such as CDC Group (the UK’s development finance institution), IFC, Proparco and Swedfund. A second close of the fund is expected later in 2022.

With its new fund, TLcom will expand its existing focus on fast-growth, tech-enabled African startups to Egypt, as well as strengthen its long-standing presence across East and West Africa.

With ticket sizes ranging from $500,000 – $15mn, TLcom expects to add an additional 20 early-stage startups to its portfolio with an emphasis on Seed and Series A stages and will target entrepreneurs tackling some of the continent’s most complex challenges in sectors including fintech, mobility, agriculture, healthcare, education and ecommerce.

Speaking on the launch of the new fund, Maurizio Caio, Nairobi-based Founder and Managing Partner at TLcom, says, “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.

“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.”

“As we partner with some of the world’s leading global investors for our new fund, this is not only an endorsement of the massive value generation upside on the continent, but also of our proven track record in identifying and supporting entrepreneurs successfully winning and redefining Africa’s key verticals.

“In order to contribute to unlocking the next phase of Africa’s huge economic upside, we’ll be mobilizing 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.”

The entrepreneurs supported by the TIDE Africa Fund have amassed huge traction in recent years with total revenues across its portfolio growing 3x since investment, over 2,300 jobs created and significant up-rounds secured with participation from leading global investors including Softbank, Owl Ventures and Index Ventures.

To-date, TLcom’s portfolio companies have raised more than half a billion dollars of capital in addition to funding issued by the TIDE Africa Fund and on average, new investments secured from these startups were priced at 5x the valuation of the initial investment received from TLcom. In 2021, the investor also announced the first unicorn in its portfolio following Andela’s $200mn Series E funding at a valuation of $1.5bn.

Abhinav Sinha, Director and Head of Technology and Telecom at CDC (soon to become British International Investment (BII)), says “We are excited to expand our partnership with TLcom.

“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.

“We are confident that our continued relationship will further amplify TLcom’s ambitions to accelerate impact to consumers and businesses across Africa’s diverse markets.”

Martin Ewald, Lead Portfolio Manager Impact Investments, AfricaGrow/Allianz Global Investors, adds “One thing is clear to those who are close to the African VC market: it will grow.

“We at AfricaGrow believe much more is possible in terms of capital influx into the continent especially in the VC space.

“There is considerable upside for everyone if investment activities accelerate even more: African businesses can boost productivity, gain in terms of competitiveness and technological edge and tens of millions more Africans could gain stable employment while generating returns for investors.”

Launched in 1999, TLcom currently has in excess of $350mn worth of funds under management across primary and secondary funds and boasts one of the leading portfolios in African tech featuring 12 startups including Andela, Ajua, Autochek, Ilara Health, Kobo360, Okra, Pula, Seamless HR, Shara, Terragon Group, Twiga Foods and uLesson.

The company’s highly experienced and growing team – which is also 50% female at a senior leadership level – consists of Founder and Managing Partner Maurizio Caio based in Kenya, Senior Partner Dr. Omobola Johnson based in Nigeria, and Partners Andreata Muforo in Kenya, and Ido Sum in the UK. With its offices based in Kenya, Nigeria as well as the UK, TLcom invests across all stages of the venture capital cycle and manages a broad portfolio of tech-enabled startups addressing a range of sectors including agriculture, education, data analytics and logistics.

Ijeoma Agboti, Managing Director at FBNQuest Funds, closes “FBNQuest Funds is pleased to have participated in the first close of TLcom’s 2nd edition 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 back TLcom on its second fund was based on the fund manager’s demonstrated 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.

“At FBNQuest Funds, 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.”


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Remedial Health Unveils New App with Digital POS to power operations for Africa’s Neighbourhood Pharmacies

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Remedial Health, a health tech startup that develops solutions to make Africa’s pharmaceutical value chain more efficient has unveiled an updated version of its customer-facing app, designed to function as an operating system for neighbourhood pharmacies and Proprietary Patent Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) across the continent.

The new app comes with a digital POS terminal to support payment collection, virtual business accounts to receive payments, an in-built barcode scanner feature for recording product sales and store-switch functionality to enable the seamless management of multiple stores, as well as inventory management solutions for restocking and easily identifying short-dated products.

The app also offers comprehensive financial reporting to manage profit and loss, and data analytics to inform decision making.

Despite accounting for 85 per cent of retail medicines sold in Africa’s pharmaceutical industry (projected to reach $70 billion market size by 2030), the absence of bespoke digital tools to manage their unique sales and inventory management needs means neighbourhood pharmacies and Proprietary patent Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) are unable to run their operations as effectively and profitably as possible.

At the same time, the reliance on paper-based inventory and sales management processes means manufacturers have limited empirical insights into customer behaviour to inform their decisions on production and distribution.

The new Remedial Health app has been designed specifically for healthcare businesses in Africa, with tailored features that have been designed to support effective decision making to drive business growth and profitability.

Starting in Nigeria, healthcare businesses can access vetted medicines, and manage their sales and inventory on one easy-to-use platform, freeing up time and capacity to effectively serve their customers and communities.

The app also enables Remedial Health to provide consolidated, real-time data on market behaviour to manufacturers for increased profitability and better decision-making across the value chain.

According to Samuel Okwuada, CEO, and co-founder of Remedial Health, “Neighbourhood pharmacies and PPMVs represent the frontline of healthcare delivery in Africa but they have historically been left to their own devices to figure out how to be efficient and profitable.

“Our mission is to empower these essential service providers with the tools they need to manage day-to-day operations and seamlessly run their practices effectively. We spent a lot of time interacting with our customers in the process of delivering this product and the feedback has been great.

“We are excited by the opportunity to get the app into the hands of pharmacies and PPMVs across the country to support their ongoing success, as well as the health and wellbeing of the nation”.

In 2023, Remedial Health sold more than 300 million individual packs of medicines to 7,500 hospitals, neighbourhood pharmacies and PPMVs across all 36 states of Nigeria.

Its customers also improved their profits by 30 per cent on average, with access to more than 8,000 vetted products at the same, or better than, open-air medicine market prices.

They can also access same-day delivery and leverage inventory financing to minimise cash-flow friction for routine orders and maximise sales opportunities.


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EnterpriseNGR Expands Financial Centres to Three African Countries

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EnterpriseNGR has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up the Africa Roundtable of Financial Centres – a chapter of the World Alliance of International Financial Centres, in Mauritius, Morocco and Rwanda.

The MoU, signed recently in Mauritius, brought together EnterpriseNGR, the Economic Development Board of Mauritius, Casablanca Finance City Authority, and Rwanda Finance Limited to foster collaboration, promote investment opportunities, and drive sustainable development within the financial centres of its member countries and Africa at large.ort the exchange of best practices between members, enhance visibility regionally

A statement from EnterpriseNGR said that it was joining forces with the three countries to specifically pursue five key objectives.

These objectives include “Jointly strengthen the competitiveness of financial centres in Africa. Collaborate through projects, research papers, communiques, and events to position the African Continent, demonstrate the myriad of investment opportunities, and showcase the role that financial centres play within the African Continent.

“Conduct joint initiatives to supp and internationally, and provide African financial centres with a unified voice regionally and internationally.

“Facilitate the development of dialogue with major financial centres outside the African Continent and build communication channels with African institutions, including regulators and policymakers, as well as African financial services industry associations, and advocate for regulatory coordination amongst members of the Africa Roundtable to promote cross-border investments and financial services.”

Commenting on this collaboration, the Chairperson of the Africa Roundtable, Mr Ken Poonoosamy, said, “The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Africa Roundtable of the WAIFC represents a pivotal stride in fostering synergy among financial hubs within the African sphere, with the shared objective of catalysing economic advancement across the continent.”

Ms Obi Ibekwe, the Chief Executive Officer of EnterpriseNGR, represented by the Director of Policy & Public Affairs, Mr Lami Adekola, expressed her excitement over the development.

She said, “It is a historic achievement, and EnterpriseNGR fully endorses the Africa Roundtable of the WAIFC and is excited for the immense opportunities it represents for Nigeria and the African continent. Our collaboration with the four African countries promises to bolster financial competitiveness on the Continent and amplify Africa’s global presence.

We will leverage this Roundtable to unlock the full potential of African financial centres to drive prosperity and development for our nations and beyond.”

EnterpriseNGR became a member of WAIFC in 2023 during the WAIFC board meeting hosted by TheCityUK in London.

The MoU, which was signed recently in Mauritius, brought together EnterpriseNGR, the Economic Development Board of Mauritius, Casablanca Finance City Authority, and Rwanda Finance Limited, to foster collaboration, promote investment opportunities, and drive sustainable development within the financial centres of its member countries.

A statement from EnterpriseNGR said that it was joining forces with the three countries to pursue five key objectives.

According to the group, these objectives include “jointly strengthen the competitiveness of financial centres in Africa. Collaborate through projects, research papers, communiques, and events to position the African continent, demonstrate the myriad of investment opportunities, and showcase the role that financial centres play within the African continent”.

It added that it would enable it to “Conduct joint initiatives to support the exchange of best practices between members, enhance visibility regionally and internationally, and to provide African financial centres with a unified voice regionally and internationally.

Facilitate the development of dialogue with major financial centres outside the African Continent and build communication channels with African institutions, including regulators and policymakers, as well as African financial services industry associations, and advocate for regulatory coordination amongst members of the Africa Roundtable to promote cross-border investments and financial services”.

Commenting on the collaboration, the Chairperson of the Africa Roundtable, Mr Ken Poonoosamy, asserted, “The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Africa Roundtable of the WAIFC represents a pivotal stride in fostering synergy among financial hubs within the African sphere, with the shared objective of catalysing economic advancement across the continent.”

Ms Obi Ibekwe, the Chief Executive Officer of EnterpriseNGR, represented by the Director of Policy & Public Affairs, Mr Lami Adekola, expressed her excitement over the development.

She stated, “It is a historic achievement, and EnterpriseNGR fully endorses the Africa Roundtable of the WAIFC and is excited for the immense opportunities it represents for Nigeria and the African continent.

“Our collaboration with the four African countries promises to bolster financial competitiveness on the Continent and amplify Africa’s global presence. We will leverage this Roundtable to unlock the full potential of African financial centres to drive prosperity and development for our nations and beyond.”


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5 Emails You Should Delete Instantly

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Amidst the daily influx of emails flooding into your inbox, it’s crucial to remain vigilant for signs of potential cyber threats. Keep a lookout for these seemingly innocent phrases that could spell trouble for your cybersecurity.

Trevor Cooke, the online privacy expert at EarthWeb, identifies five phrases you can search for in your inbox to weed out dangerous messages.

1. “Urgent Action Required”

Trevor advises, ‘This phrase often indicates an attempt to create a sense of urgency and pressure the recipient into taking immediate action without thoroughly considering the consequences.’ Cybercriminals may use this tactic to trick individuals into clicking malicious links or downloading harmful attachments.

Example: “Your account has been compromised. Urgent action required to secure your account. Click here to verify your login credentials.”

2. “Account Suspension”

Emails claiming that your account will be suspended unless immediate action is taken should raise suspicion. Cybercriminals often employ this tactic to coerce recipients into providing sensitive information or credentials under the guise of resolving a purported issue.

Example: “Your account will be suspended within 24 hours due to suspicious activity. To avoid account suspension, please confirm your account details by replying to this email.”

3. “Congratulations! You’ve Won”

Beware of emails proclaiming unexpected winnings or prizes, especially if you haven’t participated in any contests or lotteries. Trevor says, ‘Such emails often serve as bait to lure recipients into divulging personal information or clicking on malicious links.’

Example: “Congratulations! You’ve won a luxury vacation package. Click here to claim your prize by providing your personal details.”

4. “Click Here For A Special Offer”

Phrases enticing recipients to click on links for exclusive deals or offers should be approached with caution. Cybercriminals frequently use this tactic to redirect users to phishing websites designed to steal login credentials or install malware on their devices.

Example: “Don’t miss out on our limited-time offer! Click here to claim your 50% discount on all purchases.”

5. “Unusual Login Activity Detected”

‘Emails alleging suspicious or unauthorized access to your accounts aim to incite panic and prompt immediate action,’ notes Trevor. However, legitimate service providers typically communicate such notifications through their official platforms rather than through email.

Example: “We detected unusual login activity on your account. Click here to verify your identity and secure your account.”

How To Respond

Trevor recommends, ‘Upon encountering emails containing red flag phrases indicative of potential threats, the best course of action is to delete the email immediately and block the sender. Refrain from clicking on any links or downloading attachments to safeguard your personal information and maintain tight cybersecurity.’


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