Samurai Incubate closes $18.4m 2nd fund for African startup investments

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Japan-based VC Samurai Incubate has closed its oversubscribed Samurai Africa 2nd General Partnership fund at over JP¥2 billion (US$18.4 million), for pre-seed, seed and Series A investments in African tech startups.

Founded in 2008, Samurai Incubate has launched and managed six funds in Japan, through which it has backed around 130 startups.

Samurai Incubate Africa was established in May 2018, and has so far invested in 26 African startups, including Eden Life, Evolve Credit, Shyft Power Solutions, Oneport and Pricepally. It launched its second fund in January 2020, and has now closed that out at over JP¥2 billion (US$18.4 million), secured from a total of 54 LPs including Toyota Tsusho Corporation.

“Most investors are professional investors with expertise in overseas investment or have experience in founding startups, expanding organisations, and growing businesses in a variety of sectors, and made the company go public or successfully made it acquired,” Samurai said. 

“We would like to offer opportunities of matching our portfolio companies with certain LPs if there are needs by leveraging our LPs’ network, knowledge and know-how in order to support companies.”

Having primarily focused on Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria until now, Samurai Incubate has also expanded its focus to include Egypt, and also increased its maximum amount of investment to JP¥80 million (US$736,000) in order to meet the needs of a wider range of companies. It targets industries such as fintech, logistics, healthcare, e-commerce, energy, agri-tech, mobility and entertainment.

You can read our interview with Rena Yoneyama, managing director of Samurai Incubate Africa, as part of our Meet the Investor series here.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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