Sony Group is taking charge to help African founders in the entertainment startup realm.
The program is through Sony Ventures Corporation (SVC) and the funding will be distributed to “early-stage startups in gaming, music, film, and content distribution.” At the beginning of its launch, the fund is set to be supported by the Sony Ventures team in Europe.
Last year, the venture capital that African-led entertainment startups received only made up 0.9% of the continent’s total venture capital investments, per Partech Africa. Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO of Sony Ventures, believes that there is untapped potential for African creators, entrepreneurs, and teams. Additionally, he believes there’s a growing adoption of technology.
“The entertainment field has been a key area of focus for Sony Innovation Fund since the beginning and will continue to be,” Tsuchikawa told TechCrunch. “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.”
He added, “Since Sony’s entertainment business group is exploring and supporting young talented creators in Africa, this fund will also try to support those creators and the growth of entertainment business in Africa in various ways such as providing technologies, collaborating with creators, intellectual property, and contents, marketing support, and others which Sony can contribute.”
The outlet details that along with Sony Innovation Fund’s seed and early-stage investment strategy, there will be follow-on investments.
The set date for the distribution of the $10 million to African entertainment startups is pending, as of this writing. However, the fund plans to back South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana.