The COVID-19 pandemic threatened to complicate Ghanaian agri-preneur Desmond Koney’s search for seed funding for his business Complete Farmer. But while most venture capitalists were wary of sinking cash into developing markets, the Japanese VCs at Kepple Africa Ventures and Samurai Incubate Africa quickly stepped in to provide the capital — and expertise — he required. Working with Japanese investors “has been very good,” says Koney. “I’m already talking to both of them about future funding rounds.”

Koney is by no means alone. 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. TIBU is bringing quality health care to Kenyans’ front doors. LULA is a pioneering company ride-sharing in South Africa. And Numida is bringing tech-based microfinance to Ugandan entrepreneurs. Read More


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