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Africa-focused venture capital firm TLcom has announced the appointment of Eloho Omame as a partner, bolstering its capabilities as it ramps up deployment of TIDE Africa Fund II, its new $150 million pan-African tech fund.
As well as focusing on the firm’s traditional remit of seed to Series B investments in high-growth, tech-enabled start-ups, Omame will bring more senior capacity to TLcom’s high-touch approach with entrepreneurs and support deal flow generation at the pre-seed stage, as TLcom doubles down on its commitment to Africa’s thriving tech opportunity.
There will be even greater emphasis on attracting more female-led companies into TLcom’s portfolio.
Omame is a co-founder and general partner at FirstCheck Africa, a female-focused early-stage venture capital firm that has to-date invested in ten high-growth tech start-ups with a female founder or co-founder.
Omame will combine her new role at TLcom with her existing responsibilities at FirstCheck Africa, which was founded in January 2021 to address the severe funding gap for Africa’s female tech entrepreneurs. TLcom will also support the launch of FirstCheck Africa’s $10 million debut fund with a $2 million co-investment commitment from its TIDE Africa Fund II.
With a professional career spanning more than 20 years, including time at General Atlantic, FirstBank Nigeria and Credit Suisse, Omame brings a wealth of expertise to the team. An important contributor to the start-up and venture capital ecosystem in Africa, she has worked with several of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs, companies and teams, supporting their ambition to transform the continent’s heavily underserved markets and economies.
As the founding managing director of Endeavor Nigeria, she led the company’s mission to drive high-impact entrepreneurship, creating a leading membership community that includes tech founders from pioneering start-ups such as Paga, Migo and Flutterwave.
Omame’s track record in early-stage investing will prove vital as TLcom expands its current portfolio from 13 companies to 30. With TLcom widening the range of its core ticket sizes to $500 000 to $15 million, the firm will continue to primarily target seed to Series B founders that are tackling some of the continent’s most complex challenges in sectors including fintech, mobility, agriculture, healthcare, education and ecommerce.
TLcom expanding to East and West Africa
Geographically, TLcom will expand its traditional focus on East and West Africa to include North Africa, starting with Egypt.
Speaking on TLcom’s expansion and the appointment of Omame, Maurizio Caio, founder and managing partner at TLcom, says “With the launch of our new fund, we are more committed than ever to Africa.
“As we partner with more entrepreneurs, it is vital that we are able to maintain our existing level of high-quality, on-the-ground strategic support to unlock the full value-generation potential of these companies. With our portfolio companies, and our investors, we are building for the long term and fully focused on the upside of the tech sector.
“We are especially proud to strengthen our team with a partner of Omame’s calibre — a seasoned investor who mirrors our founder-first ethos, and will play a critical role in enabling us to deepen our commitment to the founder journey in Africa through her early-stage experience. Equally, her expertise will prove invaluable in strengthening our existing support for female entrepreneurs. We look forward to working with Omame to drive the next phase of our mission to transform Africa’s key verticals through tech-enabled solutions.”
Following the first close of its new $150 million fund announced in January 2022, TLcom has gained even greater momentum, with a number of additional commitments to its fund and significant new deal flow for its growing portfolio. The firm recently led a $10 million Series A round in Seamless HR, a Nigerian platform providing payroll and HR software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions to companies in Africa and a seed round in Pastel, a Nigerian fintech start-up.
Omame adds “It’s an honour to join one of the most prestigious investors in African tech. TLcom has seen the benefits of an early-stage approach through the success of both new and repeat founders in TIDE Africa Fund I. As we deploy capital from TIDE Africa Fund II, it’s crucial that we continue to win the race to find the continent’s best entrepreneurs and support their companies to scale.”
Omame’s appointment increases TLcom’s team from four to five partners, comprising founder and managing partner Maurizio Caio based in Kenya, senior partner Omobola Johnson in Nigeria, and partners Andreata Muforo in Kenya, and Ido Sum in the United Kingdom. With the new addition, TLcom’s senior leadership is now 60% female.
With offices in Kenya, Nigeria and the UK, TLcom invests across all stages of the venture capital cycle and boasts one of the leading portfolios in African tech featuring 13 start-ups.