Sony Group, through Sony Ventures Corporation, has launched a $10 million fund — Sony Innovation Fund: Africa (SIF: AF) — to endorse entertainment businesses on the continent.
The fund, geared towards African entertainment startups, will support early-stage gaming, music, film, and content distribution companies.
The Japanese giant is looking into making investments in these fields because it wants to support the creativity and tremendous potential of African creators, entrepreneurs, and teams.
Sony's Africa-focused fund will provide much-needed support to the continent's entertainment tech startups, many of which have struggled to secure steady venture capital funding.
Sony Innovation Fund, founded in 2016 to fund ventures across multiple industries, is still a creative entertainment and technology company whose goal is to use technology and creativity to "fill the world with sentiment."
The CEO of Sony Ventures, Gen Tsuchikawa, states that the entertainment industry has been and will remain a major focus area 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 and that propelled Sony to establish SIF: AF.”
The fund will also support the expansion of the African entertainment industry by offering technologies, partnerships with creators, intellectual property and content, and marketing support, among other things.
Tsuchikawa says the fund will provide follow-on investments to its portfolio companies in addition to its seed and early-stage investment strategy.
SIF: AF anticipates that its ticket sizes will range from $250,000 to $1 million, but there is no specific timeline for deploying the $10 million or number of startups the fund plans to invest in.
“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,” he concludes.