Sony Ventures to invest $10m in African entertainment startups
Sony Group has unveiled the Sony Innovation Fund: Africa (SIF: AF), a program aimed at supporting the growth of entertainment businesses in Africa. With an allocation of $10 million, this initiative facilitated through Sony Ventures Corporation (SVC), focuses on early-stage startups in gaming, music, film, and content distribution within the African continent.
Sony Ventures Corporation manages Sony's venture investment activities, including the Sony Innovation Fund 3, which raised $215 million to back emerging technology companies at all stages. With more than 100 investments across various sectors, the unit is committed to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship globally.
The establishment of the Sony Innovation Fund: Africa underscores the company's interest in promoting and supporting African startups in the entertainment sector, signaling an exciting opportunity for emerging businesses in the region.
Sony's Africa-focused fund arrives as a significant boost to the continent's entertainment technology startups, which have faced challenges in accessing consistent venture capital. In 2022, these startups received $42 million, making up only 0.9% of Africa's total venture capital investments. This contrasts with the substantial untapped potential in gaming, music, movies, and content distribution, all areas of particular interest to Sony. For instance, the gaming market in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to exceed $1 billion by 2024 while video-on-demand subscriptions in Africa are also on the rise, expected to reach 13.7 million by 2027, with revenues tripling from $623 million in 2021 to $2 billion in 2027. Furthermore, the music industry in Africa is expanding rapidly, driven by the popularity of indigenous genres like Afrobeats, attracting global record labels looking to sign local artists. Sony's planned investment in African entertainment tech startups aligns with these promising trends.