SBI Holdings will take a minority stake in Novastar, providing growth capital to develop the Novastar platform. Novastar and its investment process will continue to be managed and controlled by its four Partners, with SBI Holdings taking one non-executive seat on Novastar’s Management Board. Riki Yamauchi will join Novastar’s investment team to lead delivery of the partnership objectives. Following an investment banking career in Tokyo, Yamauchi re-located to Nairobi in 2022 to support Japanese investors with opportunities in Africa.
Since inception, Novastar has raised over $200m from global institutional investors and is currently investing from its second fund. Its portfolio companies have created lasting social value for over 50 million everyday consumers, producers and employees with nearly 35 million of them living on $6 per day or less. Alongside social value, Novastar’s portfolio companies have generated significant environmental value – removing and avoiding greenhouse gases, improving soil health and enhancing biodiversity. Novastar has backed such businesses as Moniepoint – Nigeria’s leading
business bank, BasiGo – Africa’s largest electric bus platform, and mPharma – the
leading healthtech company improving access to affordable primary care and the largest
operator of community pharmacies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As part of a strategic partnership, SBI Holdings will also help to mobilize matching commitments from Japanese institutional investors to Novastar’s funds.
Steve Beck, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Novastar, said: “When Novastar launched nearly 10 years ago, there was no VC asset class in Africa. Since then, venture funding to startups on the continent has increased more than 20-fold, exceeding $5 billion in 2022. While that growth is exciting, African VC is just getting started. Together with SBI, we see an opportunity to harness Africa’s development path to planet-positive, inclusive business models that leapfrog the polluting practices of the past and set us on track towards a sustainable and just future. Realising this opportunity requires the capital, technology and long-term mindset of corporate Japan and other mature economies.”
Established in 1999, the SBI Group is a comprehensive Internet financial group that operates globally, encompassing five core businesses: “Financial Services Business,” such as securities, banking and insurance businesses; “Investment Business,” which is engaged in private equity investment including venture capital investment; “Asset Management Business,” that provides various asset management related services; “Crypto-asset Business,” which operates crypto asset trading and exchange services; and “Non-financial Business,” which includes business activities related to biotechnology, healthcare and medical informatics, Web3, and new overseas markets.