Sony Group’s entertainment division is set to invest $10 million in early-stage entertainment startups across several African countries, with a primary focus on Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana.
Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO of Sony Ventures in an interview with TechCrunch confirmed the due diligence process has already commenced for potential beneficiaries. While the initial emphasis is on the four aforementioned countries,
- “We have initiated due diligence on a few startups, but I can’t share any details at this time,” answered Tsuchikawa when asked if Sony Innovation Fund: Africa has made some investments yet and if certain startups are on its radar.
- “We plan to start our work with South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana, but there is a possibility of expanding the scope of the project in the future.”
According to him, the company is “fully committed to its entertainment line” and that Africa is a “key area of focus” for the Sony Innovation Fund.
- “Africa, in particular, has a vibrant community of creators and entrepreneurs looking to invent new ways to enhance entertainment experiences for audiences,” Tsuchikawa said.
Sony’s interest in Nigeria is motivated by its sizable and youthful population, dynamic entertainment sector, and burgeoning tech ecosystem. Nigeria boasts a roster of thriving startups, including 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, which will be specifically targeting startups in the gaming, music, film, and content distribution sectors.
This investment marks a significant boost for Africa’s entertainment tech startups, which have faced challenges in securing consistent venture capital.
Despite the vast potential in gaming, music, movies, and content distribution, these startups received only $42 million in 2022, accounting for just 0.9% of Africa’s total venture capital investments, as reported by Partech Africa.
While Sony has not disclosed a specific timeline for deploying the investments or the number of beneficiaries, the company is committed to initiating the due diligence process for potential recipients in the coming days.
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.
Hopefully this investment spike more investment interest in Nigeria’s entertainment industry.