The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a USD $10 million equity investment in a fund designed to invest in technology-driven companies seeking to lower the cost of services in a range of industries.
The Technology and Innovation in Developing Economies (TIDE) Fund I will initially invest in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana, with later-phase plans to expand into Ethiopia, Rwanda and Zambia. An AfDB release said the fund, incorporated in Mauritius, has a target goal of $100 million.
The TIDE fund seeks to support innovations in energy, education, health care, financial services, agribusiness and other ventures, with a vision to lower the barriers to entry for companies while delivering on social and economic development.
That emphasis on businesses that create affordable solutions for low-income households, while creating good jobs for women and youth, is a priority also reflected in TIDE technical assistance to funded companies.
Fund manager TLcom Capital LLP also plans to boost development outcomes by establishing the TIDE Foundation, a separate nonprofit to support business incubators for local entrepreneurs in selected locations.
Further, the TIDE fund seeks to advance innovation and support a startup culture through training and education. A one-percent donation of the base carried interest is earmarked for entrepreneurship education in sub-Saharan Africa.
The AfDB says the TIDE fund is strongly aligned to the bank’s current Ten Year Strategy through 2022, particularly in creating access to health and education services, renewable energy solutions, and applied technology in manufacturing and other industries.
Image: TIDE Foundation