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Sony Innovation Fund Invests Undisclosed Amount in SA’s Gaming Startup, Carry1st

  • Carry1st, Africa’s leading game publisher and digital commerce platform, has secured a strategic investment from Sony Innovation Fund, the venture capital arm of Sony Group Corporation.
  • With over 200 million unique players and an anticipated market size exceeding $1 billion in 2024, the African gaming industry is experiencing rapid growth, driven by increasing technology adoption and the rise of live services.
  • The collaboration between Carry1st and Sony Innovation Fund aims to leverage Carry1st’s regional capabilities and Sony’s global expertise in gaming and entertainment to bring high-quality games to players across Africa.

Carry1st has announced a strategic investment from Sony Innovation Fund, the venture capital arm of Sony Group Corporation. This significant partnership marks the inaugural investment from Sony Innovation Fund: Africa, established by Sony as a commitment to fostering the growth of entertainment businesses across the continent.


The African gaming industry is experiencing unprecedented growth, fueled by the rapid adoption of technology. With over 200 million unique players, the industry is expected to reach a market size exceeding $1 billion in 2024, according to data from Newzoo and Carry1st. Despite limited formal console presence, the African gaming sector presents a promising growth opportunity, especially with the rise in popularity of live services.

Carry1st specializes in the development, licensing, and publication of games, employing an effective monetization strategy through Pay1st, its proprietary alternative payments platform and online marketplace for digital gaming goods.

In collaboration with established brands such as Activision, Supercell, and Riot Games, Carry1st has played a key role in scaling popular games like Call of Duty: Mobile and Valorant. Additionally, the company has successfully launched a diverse portfolio of games tailored for the African gaming community, including titles like Africa Glam (Nanobit), Mancala Adventures, SpongeBob Krusty Cook-Off, Ludo Blitz, and Mine Rescue.

Cordel Robbin-Coker, CEO, and Co-founder of Carry1st stated, “We are thrilled to join forces with Sony Innovation Fund: Africa. The relationship will help Carry1st 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.”

Antonio Avitabile, Managing Director – EMEA, Sony Ventures Corporation, said, “We are excited to welcome Carry1st as our first investment in Africa. 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.”

Read: LG Ultragear Unveils World’s First 4K OLED Gaming Monitor With Dual-Hz Feature

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