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Toshimoto Mitomo, Executive Deputy President and CSO of Sony Group Corporation, expressed confidence in the collaboration with IFC, emphasizing the latter’s strong presence in emerging markets and the potential to enhance their combined efforts. The Sony Innovation Fund has a track record of supporting portfolio companies by fostering collaborations, ranging from sharing Sony-owned technologies to engaging in joint development and business alliances. With the launch of the “Sony Innovation Fund: Africa,” Sony intends to continue making value-added investments and consider potential expansions based on its progress. In 2022, it successfully closed the first round of funding for Sony Innovation Fund 3, securing $215 million to support technology companies in various stages of development. The subsidiary oversees all of Sony’s venture investment activities, including SIF3, Sony Innovation Fund (SIF), Sony Innovation Growth Fund in partnership with Daiwa Capital Holdings, and Sony Innovation Fund: Environment.
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Makhtar Diop, Managing Director of IFC, highlighted that this partnership would leverage IFC’s expertise in emerging markets and substantial investments in the digital landscape. Sony’s outstanding track record as a global leader in entertainment, media, and technology positions it to contribute significantly to the economic growth of the creative sector. In a landscape where venture capital has predominantly favoured fintech startups, the entertainment sector has faced challenges in securing funding. Only a select few, like South Africa’s Carry1st, managed to secure $27 million in pre-Series B funding earlier this year from Bitkraft Ventures, a16z, and Konvoy Ventures. According to research by Newzoo, African gaming is projected to reach a value of approximately $1 billion by 2024. In 2022, games sold in the region generated $862.8 million in revenue, marking an 8.7% year-on-year increase. Tom Wijman, Lead Games Analyst at Newzoo, highlighted the potential of the African games market, describing it as a story of growth potential. Although Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 7% of the global player audience, it contributes less than half a per cent to global gaming revenues. The Sony Innovation Fund: Africa is poised to provide a significant boost to entrepreneurs operating in this sector.
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Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO of Sony Ventures, underscored Sony’s commitment to supporting young, talented creators in Africa through its entertainment business group. The fund aims to assist creators and foster the growth of the entertainment business in Africa through various means, including technology provision, collaboration with creators, intellectual property and content support, marketing assistance, and other avenues where Sony can contribute. Featured Image Source: Peoples Daily Newspaper
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