Sony Ventures to invest $10M via new fund for African startups
Sony Group has introduced the Sony Innovation Fund: Africa (SIF: AF) with a commitment of $10 million to support African businesses, particularly in the fields of film, music, and gaming. This fund extends the company's existing Sony Innovation Fund initiative, which had previously invested $215 million in emerging tech businesses.
Shifting Focus to Entertainment in Africa
While fintech has been the dominant recipient of venture capital in Africa, Sony's new fund is focused on entertainment. It recognizes the potential in the Sub-Saharan African gaming market, which experienced an 8.7% year-on-year revenue increase in 2022. Mobile gaming, in particular, is driving significant growth, positioning Africa as a promising frontier for the industry.
Investment Approach and Support
Sony Ventures' fund will target seed rounds and early-stage investments while offering ongoing support to portfolio companies. Historically, approximately 40% of portfolio companies have entered strategic collaborations with Sony. It's expected that companies benefiting from the new African fund will have similar opportunities.
Sony's Commitment to African Entertainment
Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO of Sony Ventures, emphasized that entertainment has been a core focus for Sony Innovation Fund, with the new fund aiming to support creators and entrepreneurs in Africa as they innovate to enhance entertainment experiences. Sony's entertainment business group is also actively exploring opportunities to collaborate with talented creators in Africa and contribute to the growth of the entertainment industry on the continent.
A Push for African Entertainment Growth
Toshimoto Mitomo, Executive Vice President of Sony Group Corporation, expressed the company's commitment to fostering next-generation technologies and startups through its venture capital activities. The Sony Innovation Fund: Africa aims to accelerate the growth of the African entertainment industry and contribute to the region's progress and development by providing opportunities for collaboration with Sony's entertainment businesses.
Diverse Investments by Sony Ventures
Sony Ventures has made over 100 investments across various sectors, including robotics, AI, entertainment, and more. The launch of Sony Innovation Fund: Africa further underscores its commitment to supporting innovation and growth in the African entertainment landscape.
Last month, Spectarium secured €5 million in seed funding for its personalized AI RPG "Myths."
Source: Aaron Astle,News Editor for PocketGamer.biz