Carry1st Announces Strategic Investment from Sony Innovation Fund

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Jan. 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Carry1st, Africa’s leading game publisher and digital commerce platform, announces a strategic investment by Sony Innovation Fund, the venture capital arm of Sony Group Corporation (“Sony”). Carry1st is the inaugural investment out of Sony Innovation Fund: Africa, which was established by Sony as an initiative to support the growth of entertainment businesses in Africa.

Driven by rapidly increasing technology adoption, Africa’s gaming industry has over 200 million unique players and is set to reach a market size of over $1 billion in 2024, according to data from Newzoo and Carry1st. While there is limited formal console presence, Africa presents an incredible growth opportunity for this sector, particularly with the rise of live services.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Sony Innovation Fund: Africa,” said Cordel Robbin-Coker, CEO and Co-founder of Carry1st. “The relationship will help Carry1st to drive the future of gaming in Africa. At Carry1st, we believe that the African console market is a massively underestimated opportunity. Our distinct regional capabilities, paired with Sony’s expertise in gaming and entertainment, creates a powerful combination. Together, we hope to bring the best games in the world to players across Africa.”

“We are excited to welcome Carry1st as our first investment in Africa,” said Antonio Avitabile, Managing Director – EMEA, Sony Ventures Corporation. “We believe there is tremendous untapped potential for the gaming market in Africa, which we hope to experience and contribute to through our investment in Carry1st. We look forward to working closely with Carry1st’s world-class management team to support the company’s growth and explore potential business opportunities with Sony Group companies.”

About Carry1st
Carry1st is Africa’s leading publisher of games and digital content. Its mission is to scale awesome content in frontier markets by solving hard problems. Carry1st develops, licenses, and publishes games, and monetizes them effectively with Pay1st, a proprietary alternative payments platform and online marketplace for digital gaming goods. Carry1st has partnered with the likes of Activision, Supercell, and Riot Games to help scale games like Call of Duty: Mobile and Valorant and has launched games including Africa Glam (Nanobit), Mancala Adventures, SpongeBob Krusty Cook-Off, Ludo Blitz and Mine Rescue for gamers in Africa. Carry1st has raised over $60M since being founded in 2018 and counts Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), BITKRAFT, Google, Riot Games, and Nas as investors.

About Sony Ventures Corporation
Sony Ventures Corporation manages the Sony Innovation Fund (SIF), which invests in all stages of emerging technology companies as well as in startups solving global environmental challenges. SIF engages with pioneering startups to help fuel the development of disruptive technologies, launch new businesses, and contribute to the environment while seeking return on investment. Sony Ventures Corporation is headquartered in Japan. Learn more at www.sonyinnovationfund.com.

For more information, please contact:
Alexandra Lloyd at Nara Communications
Alexandra@naracommunications.com


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