Novastar Ventures, a leading pan-African venture capital firm, has secured a significant $80 million investment from SBI Holdings, a prominent Japanese financial services conglomerate. This landmark partnership marks a pivotal step in fostering closer ties between Japan and Africa, paving the way for increased Japanese investment in Africa’s burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The strategic alliance between Novastar and SBI Holdings aims to mobilize Japanese institutional investors to make matching commitments to Novastar’s funds. This collaborative effort is expected to channel substantial capital into Africa’s thriving startup scene, providing much-needed growth opportunities for innovative African businesses.

In addition to the financial investment, SBI Holdings will also acquire a minority stake in Novastar, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to the firm’s success. This investment will not only strengthen Novastar’s financial position but also provide valuable insights and expertise from SBI Holdings’ extensive experience in the Japanese financial sector.

The partnership further entails the establishment of a non-executive seat on Novastar’s management board for SBI Holdings. This representation will ensure ongoing collaboration and strategic alignment between the two entities.

Furthermore, Riki Yamauchi, a seasoned investment professional with a deep understanding of the Japanese market, will join Novastar’s team to spearhead the partnership’s objectives. Yamauchi’s expertise will be instrumental in facilitating knowledge exchange and fostering connections between Japanese investors and African startups.

Novastar Ventures, with a presence in both Nairobi and Lagos, stands as a leading platform for financing early and growth-stage businesses across Africa. The firm has a proven track record of investing in companies that address pressing needs and offer innovative solutions to real-world challenges.

“When Novastar launched nearly a decade ago, there was no dedicated VC asset class in Africa. Since then, venture funding to startups on the continent has skyrocketed, increasing more than 20-fold. While this growth is encouraging, African VC is still in its early stages. Partnering with SBI Holdings presents a unique opportunity to harness Africa’s development trajectory to planet-positive, inclusive business models that leapfrog the polluting practices of the past and propel us towards a sustainable and equitable future. Realizing this vision requires the capital, technology, and long-term mindset of corporate Japan and other mature economies,” remarked Steve Beck, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Novastar.

Echoing this sentiment, Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, Chairman, President, and CEO of SBI Holdings, stated, “Africa, with its rapid growth, young and tech-savvy population, abundant natural assets, and accelerating urbanization, is poised for global leadership in sustainable development. We recognize Novastar as the pioneer in African VC and are thrilled to build a new, trusted bridge between Japan and Africa for financial and strategic investment, knowledge transfer, and innovation learning. This partnership will harness Africa’s megatrends for the mutual benefit of Japanese investors and African businesses.

The strategic partnership between Novastar Ventures and SBI Holdings signifies a pivotal moment in bridging the gap between Africa’s entrepreneurial potential and Japan’s robust financial expertise. This collaboration is poised to ignite a new era of investment, innovation, and economic growth for both regions