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Sony invests in Africa gaming startup

Jan 29, 2024
Illustration of a gaming control with a dollar sign cable

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Carry1st, an Africa-based gaming startup, landed the first investment out of Sony's VC fund aimed at the continent.

Why it matters: Africa represents one of the biggest growth markets in gaming and is reportedly projected to generate more than $1 billion in 2024.

Details: The size of the investment was not disclosed.

  • Sony established the $10 million Sony Innovation Fund: Africa last year to invest in early-stage gaming, music, film and content distribution startups.
  • Carry1st was founded in 2018 and has raised more than $60 million from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), BITKRAFT, Google, Riot Games and rapper Nas.
  • The company primarily develops mobile puzzle-based games for clients including Activision. It also has a localized payment service called Pay1st that allows African gamers to buy games using local infrastructure, bank accounts and payment methods.

What's next: Carry1st is planning on developing its own original titles CEO Cordel Robbin-Coker told CNBC. Three are in development.

The big picture: The formal console market still has little penetration in Africa. Many gamers in the region buy devices from local resellers that import from overseas, Robbin-Coker said.

  • Sony is coming off its best fiscal year for PlayStation 5 sales, with 25 million sales in FY 2023.
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