Sony Group’s entertainment division is making significant strides into the African tech and entertainment landscape with a $10 million investment in early-stage entertainment startups across multiple African countries. The primary focus of this initiative centers on Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana.
Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO of Sony Ventures, confirmed in an interview that the due diligence process is already underway to identify potential beneficiaries. While the initial emphasis is on these four countries, there’s a possibility of expanding the project’s scope in the future.
The company is committed to its entertainment line, with Africa recognized as a key area of focus. Tsuchikawa highlighted the vibrant community of creators and entrepreneurs in Africa who are eager to enhance entertainment experiences for audiences.
Sony’s interest in Nigeria is driven by the country’s substantial and youthful population, a dynamic entertainment sector, and a burgeoning tech ecosystem. Nigeria is home to thriving startups like iROKOtv, Boomplay, and Stripe.
The investment initiative will be managed through the newly established Sony Innovation Fund: Africa, under the umbrella of Sony Ventures Corporation. This fund will specifically target startups in the gaming, music, film, and content distribution sectors.
This investment represents a significant boost for Africa’s entertainment tech startups, which have faced challenges in securing consistent venture capital. In 2022, these startups received only $42 million, accounting for just 0.9% of Africa’s total venture capital investments, according to Partech Africa.
While Sony has not provided a specific timeline for deploying the investments or the number of beneficiaries, they are committed to initiating the due diligence process for potential recipients in the near future.
Sony’s move into African entertainment startups reflects the growing interest in Africa’s tech and entertainment industries. Notably, other global tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have also recently invested in African startups.
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