Samurai Incubate closes $18 million fund to speculate in Africa’s ‘mighty four’ startup countries

Rena Yoneyama (managing partner, Samurai Incubate Africa), Nao Koike (manager, Samurai Incubate Africa), Kentaro Sakakibara (Founder & CEO, Samurai Incubate). Supply: Samurai Incubate

As success tales from Africa’s startup scene unfold across the area, extra numerous sources of funding are opening as a lot as the continent. Whereas merchants from Western economies lead the flock of world ardour events, money bags in Asia are constructing momentum to speculate in excessive-impact businesses in Africa.

Japanese companies secure been critically energetic in recent years. One amongst these companies is Samurai Incubate Inc, a venture capital company based entirely entirely in Tokyo. The firm has launched the shut of its devoted Africa fund after raising 2.06 billion yen (~ $18 million).

Here is no longer Samurai’s first fund for African investments. The company created an Africa fund in 2018 and already has 26 African startups on its portfolio along side Eden, Evolve Credit, Wallets, mPost and Swipe2Pay.

In January 2020, Samurai launched a 2d fund known as the “Samurai Africa 2nd Abnormal Partnership”. The now-closed fund will level of curiosity on startups in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa – and Egypt, where they hope to abolish their first investments. 

In these countries, Samurai will purpose investments in fintech, insurtech, healthcare, commerce, energy, agritech, mobility and entertainment. Worth sizes will differ between $50,000 and $800,000 and will be for startups between pre-seed and Sequence A stages.

A notable constructing from Samurai’s recent fund is the nature of microscopic companions who invested in the fund. One mighty name – Toyota Tsusho Corporation – stands out.

A member of the Toyota Community, Toyota Tsusho has been investing in Africa startups since 2019 thru Mobility54, its corporate venture capital arm. In March this three hundred and sixty five days, the venture invested in Ivorian transportation startup Moja Trot. Kenyan logistics firm, Sendy, has also been backed by Toyota Tsusho.

By highlighting Toyota Tsusho’s investment on this $18 million fund and the presence of “first price merchants with trip in out of the country investment,” Samurai hopes to recent itself as an skilled and internationally treasured source of funding for African startups.  

That is because Samurai is one of a rising quantity of Japanese VCs with an seek for Africa. In February, two-three hundred and sixty five days-extinct Uncovered Fund launched its $15 million Africa fund to speculate $50,000 to $500,000 in seed and Sequence A stage African startups. Uncovered Fund’s CEO, Takuma Terakubo, helped co-start Samurai Incubate.

Samurai and Uncovered hope to protect as a lot as Kepple Africa Ventures, maybe essentially the most skilled Japanese VC in Africa; since 2018, Kepple has invested in 50 startups, with 21 deals completed between January and Would possibly well presumably also merely 2020 on my own. Kepple and Samurai secure some unusual ground even when; they are merchants in Bamboo, the Nigerian stock investment app.

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