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Sony Group announced today that it has established Sony Innovation Fund: Africa as an initiative to support the growth of the entertainment businesses in Africa.
The Sony Innovation Fund: Africa has been established to invest in seed to early-stage start-ups in the entertainment industry in Africa, including start-ups in the gaming, music, movie and content distribution sectors. Sony is initially allocating $10 million towards such investments.
Since 2016, Sony has been participating in the ecosystem of new business creation around the world and has contributed to supporting the business growth of start-up companies through its Sony Innovation Fund (2016), which invests in seed to early-stage companies.
It also created the Innovation Growth Fund in 2019, which was established through a joint venture with Daiwa Capital Holdings Co. (currently Daiwa Investment Management Co.); the Sony Innovation Fund: Environment (2020), which supports companies addressing global environmental issues; and Sony Innovation Fund 3 (2022), the successor to the Innovation Growth Fund. Sony Innovation Fund, Sony Innovation Fund: Environment, and Sony Innovation Fund: Africa are wholly funded by Sony.
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Since its inception, the Sony Innovation Fund has supported the growth of its portfolio companies by providing opportunities for collaboration, ranging from the provision of Sony-owned technologies to joint development and business alliances. With the Sony Innovation Fund: Africa, Sony will continue to make value-added investments, and potential expansion of this activity will be considered based on its progress.
In addition, Sony has concluded a collaboration agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the largest global development institution focused on the private sector, which is actively investing in emerging countries, including start-up companies in Africa. In addition to financial investment, this collaboration will support the growth of the entertainment industry in Africa by leveraging the strengths of both parties.
Toshimoto Mitomo, chief strategy officer at Sony Group, said in a statement that the company 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,” Mitomo said.
Makhtar Diop, managing director at IFC, said in a statement, “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.”
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