Former Nigerian minister of communications Omobola Johnson has venture capital firm TLcom Capital, where she will open a Lagos office and lead West African investments.
Johnson joins TLcom – launched in London and currently managing approximately US$300 million investments in technology and innovation – as a general partner, with the new Lagos office the company’s second in Africa after Nairobi.
TLcom, which is currently raising its Technology and Innovation for Developing Economies (TIDE) Africa Fund, said after two profitable exits from African startups last year – the sales of Movirtu to Blackberry, and Upstream to Actis, it was the “obvious next step” for TLcom to add an office in Nigeria.
The company said it is confident that Johnson, who prior to her time in government, worked for 25 years for Accenture and is also the current chairperson of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), was the right person to head up this African expansion.
“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 at TLcom.
Johnson said she was convinced local entrepreneurship and private capital are key to unleashing the power of technology to create jobs and economic development in Africa.
“My goal to assist African tech entrepreneurs’ access venture capital investment can be best achieved by joining a well-established investor such as TLcom,” she said.
“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.”