Novastar Ventures, a pan-African VC firm, has raised $80 million from Japan’s SBI Holdings.
Together, Novastar and SBI Holdings will work to get Japanese institutional investors to make matching commitments to the firm’s funds.
To help further develop the Novastar platform, SBI Holdings has decided to make an investment and acquire a minority ownership in the company.
SBI Holdings will have one non-executive seat on Novastar’s management board, but the four partners will continue to oversee and control the company and its investing process.
Riki Yamauchi will join Novastar’s investment team to lead the delivery of the partnership objectives.
Novastar is a leading platform for financing start-ups and expanding enterprises across Africa, with operations in both Nairobi and Lagos. The company invests in companies whose unique business ideas meet the clear demand for essential products and services.
“When Novastar launched nearly 10 years ago, there was no VC asset class in Africa. Since then, venture funding to startups on the continent has increased more than 20-fold. While that growth is exciting, African VC is just getting started. Together with SBI, we see an opportunity to harness Africa’s development path to planet-positive, inclusive business models that leapfrog the polluting practices of the past and set us on track toward a sustainable and just future. Realizing this opportunity requires the capital, technology, and long-term mindset of corporate Japan and other mature economies,” said Steve Beck, co-founder and managing partner at Novastar.
“With its rapid growth, young and tech-savvy population, abundant natural assets, and increasing urbanization, Africa is poised for global leadership on sustainable development. We recognize Novastar as the leader in African VC and look forward to building a new, trusted bridge between Japan and Africa for financial and strategic investment, knowledge transfer, and innovation learning. This partnership will leverage Africa’s megatrends for the mutual benefit of Japanese investors and African businesses,” said Yoshitaka Kitao, representative director, chairman, president, and CEO of SBI Holdings.
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