In brief: Japanese conglomerate acquires stake in African VC fund

SBI Holdings will provide $40m to anchor Novastar Venture's upcoming funds, according to a press release.

Japanese bank and asset manager SBI Holdings has taken a minority stake in African VC firm Novastar Ventures, according to a press release.

Novastar is a Kenyan VC fund that invests in businesses delivering positive impact in Africa. The firm has $200 million of assets under management and 24 portfolio companies across sectors including health, education, climate tech, clean utilities, electric mobility and the circular economy. It is currently raising its third fund.

SBI operates a number of strategies, including a significant venture capital investment business. As part of the investment, it will supply $40 million to anchor Novastar’s upcoming funds. SBI will also “help to mobilise” commitments from other Japanese investors into the fund, per the release.

SBI CEO Yoshitaka Kitao said: “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 recognise 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 learnings. This partnership will leverage Africa’s mega-trends for the mutual benefit of Japanese investors and African businesses.”