Sony just announced its Innovation Growth Ventures Company in partnership with Daiwa Securities Group Inc. The fund is worth around 185M dollars or 20 billion yen and aims to invest in startup companies in high growth industries.
— an Aside for The Young Budding Naija Entrepreneur
Looking at the current landscape of startup investing, it is fair to say that everyone wants to get in on the action. As a young Nigerian bubbling with a thousand and one ideas, you may feel left out from this world of impact investing but it is really not that hard to get into. So pause for a bit and don’t give up on your dreams yet. Nowadays, there are so many investment funds targeting startups and your idea may just be the next account they are looking for.
This article is just one instance of the many venture funds coming to life out there in the wild. I will be working on a new article that will describe all the current venture funds that are tailored specifically to African Startups.
Which Areas Are Of Interest To Sony?
Back in 2016, Sony actually established the Sony Innovation Fund which serves as its corporate venture arm. Thus far, Sony Innovation Fund has executed investment deals in specialized areas such as AI and Robotics. And according to the company’s book, over 40 investments have been done since its inception and it hopes to continue investing in high growth startups.
For this new partnership with Daiwa Securities Group Inc., Sony is planning to adopt better strategic positions in their future investment deals that will probably lead to IPOs. One good thing, however, is that this new fund is drawing a lot of attention and will not be lacking Limited Partners. So far, interested partners are big Japanese companies such as Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Osaka Shoko Shinkin Bank and Mitsubishi UFJ.
The Following Are Statements From The Main Partners So Far:
Statement from Toshimoto Mitomo, Executive Vice President, Sony Corporation
Through its corporate venture capital activities to date, Sony has incubated the next generation of technologies and startups while promoting open innovation. With the establishment of this fund through IGV, we hope to accelerate open innovation while contributing to social development. Sony will support IGV’s efforts to maximise the performance of this fund, based on the experience it has cultivated through its corporate venture capital activities.
Statement from Yoshihisa Kaneko, Executive Managing Director, Daiwa Securities Co. Ltd.
Daiwa Securities Group has held traditional securities as its core business while striving to expand its business portfolio as an integrated securities group with a hybrid business model. Through this fund, we hope to contribute and provide various forms of support to our investment targets, including sourcing, support with stock market listing, and matching support with other listed firms. We believe that the integration of Sony’s insight of cutting-edge technologies and Daiwa Securities Group’s expertise in finance will lead to the creation of a new kind of venture capital business while providing the spark for new trends in the venture capital ecosystem.
Statement from Gen Tsuchikawa, Representative Director, Innovation Growth Ventures Inc.
By harnessing the various resources of Sony and Daiwa Securities Group, IGV aims to support the business growth of companies’ portfolio, thereby increasing investment returns. Furthermore, by supporting collaborations between the portfolio companies and third parties, including renowned research institutions and other startup companies, we also hope to contribute to the promotion of open innovation. We hope to take full advantage of the wealth of corporate venture capital experience offered by both Sony and Daiwa Securities Group.
Statement from Atsuhito Hosoi, Representative Director, Innovation Growth Ventures Inc.
IGV will fully leverage the expertise and resources of both groups, which includes Sony’s global network, formed through its globe-spanning business developments, and its innovative spirit and highly renowned technological prowess as well as Daiwa Securities Group’s wealth of management expertise in venture capital funds. In doing so, IGV will construct a high-quality business portfolio and promote value creation for its portfolio companies, thereby maximizing the performance of this fund.
It is important to note however that Sony is not yet calling for participation in this new fund. More on that later.