British International Investment


EgyptMauritiusNigeriaSouth AfricaAfricaBritish Overseas TerritoriesEast AfricaNorth AfricaUSAWest AfricaCommunications & IT servicesFinancial servicesInfrastructure

TLcom is an Africa-focused venture capital investor that supports early-stage tech businesses that improve suppliers and consumers’ market access and participation in key sectors of the economy such as education, agriculture, transportation and logistics, healthcare, and financial services. Through their second fund, TIDE Africa II LP, they will expand their focus in to Egypt, as well as strengthen its long-standing presence across East and West Africa. With individual investments sizes ranging from from $500,000 – $15 million, TLcom expects to support an additional 20 early-stage start-ups.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

The investment will help catalyse Africa’s nascent early stage VC market to provide productive employment opportunities, and improve employee, supplier, and consumer access to essential services on the continent by creating market efficiencies in priority sectors including food and agriculture, financial services, healthcare, and education.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.


  • Enable income-generating opportunities through direct and indirect job creation (SDG 8.5)
  • Enable income-generating opportunities through tech-enabled access to market and financial services (SDGs 8.5, 8.10)


Primary Secondary

Help build a track record and prove the viability of early stage VC in Africa to attract a greater supply of capital to this sector and further unlock economic growth. Medium-term signs of success would include the continued growth of Fund I investees, the growth of Fund II investees, successful follow-on fundraises at the investee level; positive financial returns under Funds I and II, and an increased representation of commercial investors in Fund II.

Invest in business models with the potential for large scale job creation, and invest in fintech and marketplace business models


Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Employees and suppliers

Sub-Saharan Africa, primarily Nigeria and Kenya

Workers in the logistics, mobility and software engineering sectors

Suppliers and consumers

Sub-Saharan Africa, primarily Nigeria and Kenya

MSME owners, smallholder farmers

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

Potential for large scale if this platform is replicated and results in increased access to capital for early stage businesses in Africa unlocking productive growth and employment opportunities, as well as access to essential services. Projection of >10k jobs created and >100k MSMEs reached

Catalysing markets impact likely to occur in the long term if the platform is commercially successful


  • Financial additionality: Effect of providing an anchoring commitment at first close enabled Fund II to reach a viable size.
  • Value additionality: Continued enhancement of environmental, social, governance and business integrity practices; and support manager’s renewed commitment to 2X Challenge

Grid score

Grid Score

To help us direct our investments, we previously used a tool called the Development Impact Grid. It scored investments out of four, based on two factors: the difficulty of investing in a country and the propensity of the sector to generate employment. This tool was used for investments until the end of 2021. Since 2022 it has been replaced by the Impact Score.



Execution Risk
  • related to fundraising and deploying a larger fund, with an early-stage focus.
Alignment Risk
  • The fund's strategy permits it to invest in a broader range of sectors than BII's priority sectors.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

The fund manager has an established approach to environmental and social management and we will continue to support and monitor its approach as the portfolio grows.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    Africa, British Overseas Territories, East Africa, North Africa, USA, West Africa

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    Communications & IT services, Financial services, Infrastructure

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Start date :
    November 2021
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :
    Fund Manager:
    TLCOM Capital LLP

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    2X Gender Finance

    Indicates whether the investment is ‘2X qualified’ using the 2X Challenge criteria. You can find out more here. It only applies to investments made from 2018 onwards, when the 2X Challenge was first launched.

    Fully qualified

Investments made by this fund into companies:

For further information about these companies, visit

Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Appzone Nigeria West Africa Communications & IT services November 2023 Active
ILLA Transport Solutions Egypt North Africa Infrastructure December 2022 Active
Little Fish South Africa Southern Africa Communications & IT services June 2023 Active
Pastel Limited Nigeria West Africa Financial services May 2022 Exited
Predictus SAS Nigeria West Africa Financial services September 2022 Active
Seamless HR Nigeria West Africa Communications & IT services November 2021 Active
TAPSI Mauritius East Africa Financial services December 2022 Active
Vendease Corp Nigeria West Africa Communications & IT services June 2022 Active

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