Sony Launches $10 Million Fund to Back African Entertainment Startups.
In a significant leap forward for the African entertainment industry, Sony Group Corporation has unveiled its latest initiative – the “Sony Innovation Fund: Africa.” This groundbreaking project is designed to nurture and support the growth of entertainment businesses across the African continent.
For Sony, the commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration is not a new concept. Since 2016, the company has been actively involved in shaping the landscape of new businesses worldwide. Through initiatives like the “Sony Innovation Fund” (2016), which targets seed to early-stage companies, the “Innovation Growth Fund” (2019) established in collaboration with Daiwa Investment Management Co., Ltd., the “Sony Innovation Fund: Environment” (2020) addressing global environmental issues, and “Sony Innovation Fund 3” (2022), the successor to the “Innovation Growth Fund,” Sony has continuously invested in the future.
The latest addition to this lineup is the “Sony Innovation Fund: Africa,” specially created to support and invest in seed to early-stage startups within Africa’s vibrant entertainment industry. The fund covers a wide spectrum of sectors, including gaming, music, film, and content distribution. To kick-start this ambitious project, Sony is allocating an initial investment of $10 million.
One of the unique features of the Sony Innovation Fund has been its capacity to facilitate collaborations, thus adding value to the companies it invests in. This approach extends from granting access to Sony’s cutting-edge technologies to forging joint development ventures and strategic business alliances. The “Sony Innovation Fund: Africa” will continue this tradition of fostering collaboration, and its potential expansion is contingent on the progress it makes in this dynamic space.
In addition to the launch of this fund, Sony has sealed a strategic collaboration agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a preeminent global development institution with a focus on the private sector. IFC has been actively investing in emerging markets, including startups in Africa. This partnership goes beyond financial investment and is set to bolster the growth of the African entertainment industry by leveraging the strengths of both Sony and IFC.
Toshimoto Mitomo, Executive Deputy President and CSO of Sony Group Corporation, expressed his confidence in this venture, saying, “Sony Group has been fostering next-generation technologies and start-ups and promoting open innovation through its corporate venture capital activities to date. Through the activities of Sony Innovation Fund: Africa, we hope to accelerate the growth of the African entertainment industry and contribute to the progress and development of the region by providing opportunities for collaboration with the entertainment businesses within the Group. And I am confident that our collaboration with IFC, which has a strong presence in emerging markets, will enhance this activity by leveraging both parties’ strengths.”
Makhtar Diop, Managing Director of IFC, also welcomed the collaboration, stating, “We are excited about our collaboration with Sony, aimed at generating value for businesses in Africa’s creative industry. This partnership will harness IFC’s expertise in emerging markets and our extensive investments in the digital landscape. Sony’s exceptional track record as a leading global player in entertainment, media, and technology positions us well to contribute to the economic growth of the creative sector.”
The “Sony Innovation Fund: Africa” is poised to be a catalyst for innovation and growth in Africa’s entertainment landscape, fostering collaboration and innovation in the creative sector. Sony’s commitment to nurturing talent and promoting open innovation is set to make a lasting impact on the African entertainment industry.