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A Wave of Japanese Venture Capitalists is Flooding African Tech with Cash

In the past three years, an oversupply of capital in the Japanese startup system has seen three Japanese venture capital funds invest tens of millions of dollars (raised from private and corporate investors in Japan) in close to 100 startups across the African continent. These Japanese investors are offering Africa, its governments and its private sector a meaningful alternative to Chinese funding, which has so dominated the continent in recent years that it has spawned suggestions of neocolonialism by Beijing and has sparked backlash in several nations. Since launching in 2018, Kepple has invested $12 million in 61 firms in nine African countries, and they’re showing no signs of stopping there. Samurai, which was established in the same year, has invested in around 25 companies in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda, says managing partner Rena Yoneyama. And in the same period, Asia Africa Investment & Consulting (AAIC) has invested in 20 firms across the continent.