British International Investment

TLCom TIDE Africa Fund

AfricaKenyaNigeriaAfricaCommunications & IT servicesConsumer - EducationConsumer - HealthFinancial services

TLcom is an Africa-focused venture fund investing in early-stage businesses that leverage technology to 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 the TIDE Africa Fund, TLcom has backed some of Africa’s most prominent early-stage companies, including Kobo360, Andela and Twiga Foods.

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

Our investment

Description of the investment.

Our investment in TIDE underlines our commitment to supporting innovation geared towards delivering large scale development outcomes for consumers, suppliers, small-scale entrepreneurs - and their employees - in sub-Saharan Africa.

By supporting a venture capital fund that is backing innovative and highly scalable companies in Africa, we can play a catalytic role in supporting the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems. The rapid growth of these companies will be crucial for absorbing the growing working-age population and solving specific market challenges facing businesses and consumers.

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.



Promote economic opportunities by creating jobs and enhancing access to more affordable goods and services for productive use (SDG targets 8.5, 1.4)



Our commitment will support TIDE to invest in highly scalable early-stage companies. TIDE will support their growth and large-scale employment creation, both directly and through the services they provide to other market stakeholders. By achieving exits and top quartile financial returns, the fund can help demonstrate the viability of venture capital investing in sub-Saharan Africa and mobilise more capital in this segment. It will take five to ten years and repeat financial success of investors such as TLcom for other commercial investors to enter the venture capital market in sub-Saharan Africa.


Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Suppliers, employees, and consumers

Sub-Saharan Africa (primarily Nigeria and Kenya)

Primarily low-income and middle-income.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

Supporting the creation of an estimated 10,000 direct and indirect jobs over the lifetime of our investment.

The impact is likely to be deeper for low-income individuals accessing full-time employment. Full-time employment is expected to have a sustained impact on stakeholders' livelihoods.


  • Financial additionality: Capital not offered in sufficient quantity by the commercial market.
  • Value additionality: We will help reduce execution risks and any negative impact risks by providing knowledge and advice on implementing best practices on environmental, social and business integrity, and incorporating a risk-based approach on environmental and social issues for early-stage companies

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
  • The impact case relies on the fund's ability to select those early-stage companies that will achieve scale, and deliver exits and attractive financial returns which would result in both job creation and a long-term demonstration effect.
External Risk
  • External factors that are independent of the fund's performance may dissuade commercial investors to invest in early stage companies in sub-Saharan Africa.

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

We are working closely with the fund manager to improve its existing ESMS, including delivering an action plan.

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.


    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, Consumer - Education, Consumer - Health, Financial services

    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 :
    December 2019
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :
    Fund Manager:
    Tide Africa GP LP

    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
Ajua Kenya East Africa Communications & IT services October 2017 Active
Andela Africa Africa Consumer - Education October 2017 Active
Ilara Health Inc Kenya East Africa Consumer - Health September 2020 Active
Kobo 360 Nigeria West Africa Communications & IT services November 2018 Active
Okra Nigeria West Africa Communications & IT services March 2020 Active
Pula Kenya East Africa Financial services October 2020 Active
Shara Africa Africa Communications & IT services May 2020 Active
Terragon Nigeria West Africa Communications & IT services May 2018 Active
twiga Foods Kenya East Africa Communications & IT services November 2018 Active
uLesson Kenya East Africa Consumer - Education November 2019 Active
Vee8 International Holdings Inc Nigeria West Africa Communications & IT services December 2020 Active

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