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Sunday, 30 January 2022

VC outfit TLcom Capital eyes Egypt. Plus: Aman + Taqa eye fintech

Africa-focused VC firm TLcom Capital plans to enter Egypt with its new fund, which hit a first close of USD 70 mn, TechCrunch reports. The firm, whose portfolio companies are all based in Nigeria or Kenya, is looking to use the fund to branch out to other areas of the continent, with Egypt as one of its prime targets.

TLcom is looking to raise USD 150 mn in the fund’s final close by November, founder and managing partner Maurizio Caio told Bloomberg. It wants to use the fund to add 20 early-stage startups to its portfolio, with individual investments ranging from USD 500k to USD 15 mn.

“We would really like to get exposure to Egypt in addition to what we have done where we are sitting in Lagos and Kenya … We see Egyptian entrepreneurs going into sub-Saharan Africa, so we want to get exposure,” Caio said.

What’s TLcom? TLcom is focused on start-ups in fintech, mobility, agriculture, healthcare, education and e-commerce, though Caio told TechCrunch that it is also interested in venturing into Web3.0 (explainer), crypto and DeFi (explainer)i. The firm’s first fund, the USD 71 mn TIDE Africa Fund, invested in 11 startups from seed to series B stages.

TLcom LPs include CDC Group, the International Finance Corporation, and France’s Proparco are among the international partners backing the fund, while local players FBN Quest and Sango Capital have also committed funds.


Raya Holding subsidiary Aman and Qalaa Holdings’ Taqa Arabia are setting up a fintech company targeting energy consumers, the two companies announced in a statement (pdf) last week. The as-yet unnamed joint venture will be 51% owned by Aman and will provide e-payment services to Taqa customers, increasing the number of Aman branches at Taqa gas stations to 350, Hapi Journal reported, citing Raya Holdings Chairman Medhat Khalil.

The JV is expected to begin operations in 1H2022 after it lands the final licenses it needs. An Aman representative told us that Aman will invest EGP 300 mn in the venture over the next three years, but declined to disclose the company’s start-up capital.

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