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Sony Backs Carry1st To Tap Billion Dollar African Gaming Market

Carry1st secures a strategic investment from Sony Innovation Fund. As the continent anticipates a $1 billion market size in 2024, this collaboration aims to shape the future of gaming in Africa.

Eliza Crichton-Stuart author picture}

Eliza Crichton-Stuart

Head of Operations

Sony Backs Carry1st To Tap Billion Dollar African Gaming Market

Video game publisher and digital commerce platform Carry1st has secured a strategic investment from Sony Innovation Fund, the venture capital arm of Sony Group Corporation. The African gaming industry, currently with over 200 million players, is projected to surpass a market size of $1 billion in 2024, according to the latest data from Maliyo Games Africa Games Industry Report, as well as Newzoo.

Carry1st, established in 2018 and co-founded by Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu, Lucy Hoffman, and Cordel Robbin-Coker, has positioned itself as a key player in the South African gaming scene. The recent collaboration with Sony Innovation Fund signals a significant step forward in unlocking the untapped potential of the African gaming market.

Sony Backs Carry1st To Tap Billion Dollar African Gaming Market

Building Games in Africa

Cordel Robbin-Coker, CEO and co-founder of Carry1st expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating: “We are thrilled to join forces with Sony Innovation Fund: Africa. 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."

The alliance aims to leverage Carry1st's regional strengths and Sony's gaming and entertainment expertise to deliver the "best games in the world to players across Africa." Antonio Avitabile, managing director at Sony Ventures Corporation, remarked: “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."

Carry1st had previously raised $27 million in a funding round led by Bitkraft Ventures last year. The company's strategic positioning aligns with the growing number of gamers in sub-Saharan Africa, projected to exceed hundreds of millions in the next five years.

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Billion Dollar Opportunity

According to the Newzoo Global Games Market Report for 2023, Africans spend an average of $6 per year on games, predominantly through in-app purchases on mobile games. Sub-Saharan Africa alone with total in-app purchase spending of $778.6 million, constituting 90% of all games revenue in the region.

South Africa leads with an average revenue per user of $12 per year. Looking ahead, the report predicts that the Sub-Saharan gaming sector is poised to continue growing and is projected to generate over $1 billion in consumer revenue by 2024.

Web3 and Africa

Africa is rapidly emerging as one of the fastest adopters of web3 technology, as highlighted in a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The region saw crypto transactions reaching $20 billion per month in 2021, with the popularity of alternative assets driven by the instability of mainstream fiat assets.

These developments bear significance for the gaming industry, particularly in the realm of web3 gaming. With a flourishing player base, increased spending, and a youthful demographic, Africa has become a pivotal market for the evolution of web3 gaming experiences. The decentralized nature of web3 gaming aligns with the adaptability demonstrated by African developers in navigating market challenges.

The Africa Games Industry Report 1.webp

The Africa Games Industry Report emphasizes mobile game development as a dominant force in the African gaming scene - with over 90% of players preferring mobile games. This aligns with the accessibility and decentralization principles championed by web3 technologies. As the industry confronts financial challenges and infrastructure hurdles, the decentralized and transparent nature of web3 presents innovative solutions.

Smart contracts, NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), and decentralized marketplaces have the potential to address financial challenges and empower developers with new revenue streams. 

In conclusion, the insights provided by the Africa Games Industry Report not only capture the current state of the African gaming industry but also foreshadow its potential evolution in the web3 era. As the continent embraces its vibrant gaming culture, the intersection of web3 and African gaming presents exciting possibilities for the future of the global gaming landscape.


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updated:

February 14th 2024

posted:

January 31st 2024

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