Sony Group’s entertainment division has announced plans to support early-stage entertainment startups in Nigeria and three other African countries with $10m.
According to the company, the support will be made through Sony Innovation Fund: Africa (SIF: AF), a new fund established by Sony Ventures Corporation. SIF: AF will target startups in the gaming, music, film, and content distribution sectors.
Sony plans to start with four countries: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. The company will then look to expand to other countries in Africa.
The organisation has chosen to focus on Nigeria because of its large and growing youth population, vibrant entertainment scene, and growing tech ecosystem. Nigeria is also home to several successful startups, such as iROKOtv, Boomplay and Stripe.
Speaking on the development, Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO of Sony Ventures, said that the company is “fully committed to its entertainment line” and that Africa is a “key area of focus” 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,” Tsuchikawa said.
The company has not yet announced a timeline for when the support will be deployed or how many startups will benefit from the funds. However, the company says it will begin the due diligence process for potential beneficiaries in the coming days.
The firm’s support of African entertainment startups shows the growing interest in the continent’s tech and entertainment industries. Many other global tech companies, such as Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, have also invested in African startups in recent years.
Sony’s support will also boost for the Nigerian entertainment industry, which is already one of Africa’s largest and most vibrant. Sony’s investment will help fuel the industry’s growth and create new opportunities for Nigerian creatives and entrepreneurs.