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SBI Holdingsa Japanese financial services conglomerate and one of the largest venture capital firms in the East Asian country, has made a $40 million multi-fund commitment to anchor a pan-African venture capital firm. Novastar Ventures’ future funds.
This commitment is the Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed company’s first direct investment in venture capital in Africa. Its subsidiary SBI Investment has already penetrated the African startup ecosystem by investing in Apollon Agriculture, Monothe late WhereIsMyTransport, Hakki Africa and Kepple Africaa venture capital fund.
Following the deal, SBI Holdings will take a minority stake in Novastar and gain a non-executive seat on its board as an advisor to SBI in Africa. Riki Yamauchi joins the Novastar investment team to ensure that the set partnership objectives are achieved.
SBI Holdings has vowed to rally other Japanese institutional investors to match its investment in Novastar as the East Asian country’s interest in Africa grows.
Commenting on the partnership, Yoshitaka Kitao of SBI Holdings Inc. said: “With its rapid growth, young and tech-savvy population, abundant natural assets and increasing urbanization, Africa is poised to become a global leader in sustainable development. »
“We recognize Novastar as the leader in venture capital in Africa and look forward to building a new bridge of trust between Japan and Africa for financial and strategic investments, knowledge transfer and innovation learning . This partnership will leverage Africa’s megatrends for the mutual benefit of Japanese investors and African businesses,” said Kitao, who is Representative Director, Chairman and CEO of SBI Holdings.
This new commitment comes as Novastar raises its third pool, the Africa People + Planet Fund, which aims to close more than $200 million to invest in the agriculture and climate solutions sector. Novastar will support startups offering services enabling market access and resilience to climate change for the many clean technologies that help decarbonize the growth envisioned for the continent, and climate technologies that “protect biodiversity, improve the health of soils and capture carbon. .”
Novastar sees value in partnering with SBI Holdings as it raises its latest fund to support agriculture and climate startups and plans to co-invest in future deals.
“With SBI, we see an opportunity to harness Africa’s development path towards inclusive, planet-positive business models that move beyond the polluting practices of the past and put us on the path to a sustainable and just future . Realizing this opportunity requires the capital, technology and long-term mindset of Japanese companies,” said Steve Beck, co-founder and managing partner of Novastar.
Novastar’s previous funds include the $108 million Africa Fund II, which saw Novastar expand its geographic reach to include West Africa and its first kitty, the East Africa Fund – an $80 million fund with a $12.5 million co-investment facility – which has invested in 15 startups in the region. His holdings include Commercial depositan evolution of electronic commerce; Turacoan insurtech; Moniepoint (formerly TeamApt), a fintech; mPharmahealth technology; MoKo, a furniture startup; and iProcure, an agtech.