Home Technology TLcom Capital appoints Eloho Omame as partner to back more pre-seed and female-led startups – TechCrunch

TLcom Capital appoints Eloho Omame as partner to back more pre-seed and female-led startups – TechCrunch

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Africa-focused venture capital firm TLcom Capital has appointed Eloho Omame as a partner six months after announcing the first closure of the TIDE Africa Fund II. ..Appoint

TLcom Capital is known for its seed-to-series B investments. Transactions from this category of portfolios include uLesson, Ajua, Ilara Health, Kobo360 and Twiga. However, venture capital has flexibility in its trading process, registering some late-stage trading of the Undead Series C and much earlier-stage trading, such as Autocheck’s pre-seed trading. increase.

Taking a more aggressive approach and with offices in Lagos, London and Nairobi, the company intends to put more emphasis on the pre-seed stage, and the appointment of Omame is important for this purpose. She is a co-founder and general partner of FirstCheck Africa. FirstCheckAfrica is an early stage company that invests in pre-seed and seed-stage startups with at least one female founder or co-founder. Prior to FirstCheck Africa, Omame was the founding managing director of Endeavor Nigeria, leading a community of influential founders on the continent.

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Africa’s technology ecosystem is still very early. However, some say it reached a turning point last year as startups received more than $ 5 billion in venture capital funding. Foreign capital from global investors in the United States and Europe has driven much of this growth, but local and African-focused investors have raised small and medium-sized funds to support innovation and their I’m pulling the weight.

Only a handful of these companies have more than $ 100 million in weapons to expand into Africa, typically betting over years from seed to series C. I did. However, companies like TLcom Capital are motivated to trade much faster. This is the same as IPO-enabled companies such as Tiger Global and Softbank are moving for seed transactions.

TLcom Capital recognizes that it is necessary to capture the founder early in the journey in order to access or generate a transaction flow. From a diversity perspective, the company is also keen to support more women-led companies at this stage (for example, Okra’s only investment in the $ 1 million pre-seed round). According to partner IdoSum, African-focused companies are spending “millions of dollars” on these two early-stage strategies from their funding. The first is to help gender-neutral startups early and create a pipeline to later stages with a small check size and a hassle-free approach. The other is a $ 2 million co-investment commitment to pre-seed women-led startups managed by FirstCheck Africa.

Partners say that Omame’s background and work experience are well suited to handle these strategies. “This isn’t about changing investment strategies, but about making transaction flow generation strategies cover all possibilities,” Maurizio Caio, TLcom Capital’s general partner, commented in an interview with TechCrunch’s partners. .. “We chose Eloho because her background and her way of thinking about her entrepreneurship fit her perfectly when interacting with her on various occasions.”

Omame said on the phone that she wants to embed herself deeper into the African startup ecosystem, despite sharing time between businesses. As a TLcom partner, Omame is responsible for following up early (especially pre-seed) to later stages of an entrepreneurial journey. As a general partner of FirstCheck Africa, she is responsible for investing a total of $ 12 million (the company’s debut fund of $ 10 million and a commitment of $ 2 million from TLcom) in a women-led start-up in Africa as a single capital pool. I am.

Given that FirstCheck Africa was just launched in January last year, the $ 10 million debut fund is an ambitious pursuit. It’s unclear where the company is currently in the process of raising funds, but VC companies led by Omame and Odunayo Eweniyi, co-founders and COOs of Nigerian fintech startup Piggyvest, are making remarkable progress with free resources. I’ve done it. To date, we’ve helped eight startups, most of which have at least one female founder, and others, including female CEOs such as Jumba and Healthtracka.

Omame, who has always spoken about women’s representatives in the startup and VC world, said the opportunity to co-invest with TLcom in FirstCheck Africa is exciting for women’s founders. Last year, less than 1% of all VC dollars went to startups with one or more female founders, according to the Big Deal detailing its investment in Africa. From the perspective of female founders, they are benefiting from more capital than was available under the original goals, in addition to female-first investors committed to long-term success. ..

“TLcom holds the most reliable, highly attended and organized Women’s Founders Summit each year,” said Omame, referring to the Pan-African VC Women’s Founders Summit. Said. “So there was always that commitment, and in my view, what’s happening here is the way the company wants to take it up a notch, partly by FirstCheck Africa. It’s about committing to a real meaningful amount of money to invest and how to connect it to the broader pipeline and strategy of the entire ecosystem, so in many ways there are many synergies here. It’s happening. “

From a gender lens perspective, TLcom Capital is one of the few VC companies with many female partners on the team. With the new addition, TLcom’s senior management is now 60% female (Eloho, Omobola Johnson, Andreata Muforo).

Eloho’s track record in early-stage investments is critical as TLcom plans to expand its current portfolio from 13 to 30 and ticket sizes from $ 500,000 to $ 15 million. Having invested mostly in West Africa and East Africa (more precisely Nigeria and Kenya), the company plans to begin supporting businesses in North Africa as well.

FirstCheck Africa, on the other hand, is now able to make more investments with this joint investment plan. The company, which manages both capital pools and makes all investment decisions, plans to invest up to $ 250,000, including follow-on businesses that are heavily relevant to TLcom Capital’s trading flow. “We are allocating this pool and will generate a fairly broad pipeline in terms of different business models,” Sum said. “I also think it’s fully compatible with the sectors and industries we want to support in subsequent rounds.”

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