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Omobola Johnson Joins Tlcom Capital To Open Lagos Office And Lead West Africa Investments

By Chwayita Nqiwa

29/09/2015, Nigeria - Venture capital firm TLcom Capital (TLcom) today announced the appointment of Omobola Johnson the ex-Minister of Communications in Nigeria, as a general Partner to open and head their new office in Lagos, Nigeria - their second in Africa.

With two profitable exits from African startups in 2014 the sale of virtual identity solutions provider for mobile operators Movirtu to global mobile communications leader Blackberry, and the acquisition of mobile marketing company Upstream on behalf of private equity group Actis, it was the obvious next step for TLcom to further strengthen their geographical footprint in Sub Saharan Africa by adding an office in Nigeria. TLcom’s first office in Africa was opened in Nairobi to allow the launch of TLcom TIDE Africa – its new Sub Saharan Africa focused Tech fund..

“Based on my 25 year career at Accenture and my tenure as Nigeria ICT Minister, I am convinced that local entrepreneurship and private capital are key to unleash the power of technology to create jobs and further economic and social development in the continent. My goal to assist African tech entrepreneurs’ access venture capital investment can be best achieved by joining a well-established investor such as TLcom.

My main focus will be on deal flow generation, investment and value generation, and to bring industry level experience and network opportunities to support the scalable, sustainable and profitable growth of African tech companies in the TLcom portfolio” said Omobola Johnson, the new Partner of TLcom Capital LLP.

Africa has been noted as a growing hub for tech/mobile startup businesses, and angel investors and VC companies have been watching the developments and increasingly supporting startups across the African continent. TLcom has managed to choose its investments well and proving that VC exits from African startups are possible. Adding an office in Lagos allows TLcom to have a firmer footprint on the African continent, and work closer with its portfolio companies helping them to expand across Africa and internationally.

“We are excited about Omobola joining our team and leading our efforts in West Africa as we look forward to exploring businesses in fundamental markets such as Nigeria and finding entrepreneurs building scalable investable companies. Our main priority is to further explore Africa related opportunities associated with technology and innovation for value generation,” said Maurizio Caio, Managing Partner, TLcom Capital LLP.

“Our recent exits validate TLcom's belief that relevant venture backed technology and innovation can accelerate inclusive access to basic services in Africa and other developing markets, while attracting the strategic interest of global technology leaders and achieving profitable investment returns,” concludes Caio.

About TLcom
TLcom Capital is a venture capital firm based in London, Nairobi and Lagos, managing approximately US$300 million in technology and innovation from early stage to expansion and growth. TLcom delivers equity capital as part of a larger strategic and operational support to entrepreneurs, leveraging a senior team of business building investment professionals combining global industry expertise with local transaction and management experience.

TLcom is currently raising the TLcom TIDE (Technology and Innovation for Developing Economies) Africa Fund, focusing on fast growth scalable companies leveraging largely existing technologies and innovative business models to accelerate access to severely underserved core verticals enjoying exploding demand in the region such as financial services, commerce, energy, education and health.

About Omobola Johnson
Before joining TLcom, Omobola was Minister of Communication Technology, Nigeria from 2011 to 2015, focusing on the launch and execution of the National Broadband Plan, and the support of the Nigerian technology industry, including the pioneering involvement of the government in a local VC fund and a network of start-up incubators. Before serving in the Nigerian government, she gained over 25 years of consulting experience with Accenture including five years as Country Managing Director, working with companies in a variety of industries, transforming them into more competitive and dynamic organizations.

Omobola is Chairperson, Alliance for Affordable Internet (Worldwide Web Foundation); Member, Global Agenda Council on Africa, World Economic Forum; Trustee, Future of the Internet Initiative, World Economic Forum, Founding Chairperson and Member of the Board of Trustees, Women in Management and Business; Chairperson, UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development, 2014 - 2015; Member, Broadband Commission Working Group on Gender, UNDP; Member, m-Powering Development Advisory Board, ITU;.

Omobola has a Bachelor's in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Manchester; a Master's in Digital Electronics from King's College, London and a Doctorate in Business Administration from the School of Management of Cranfield University.

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