25. April 2024

MOL to Invest in Novastar Ventures, One of Africa’s Largest Venture Capital Firms


TOKYO-Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto) recently announced its intent to invest in Novastar Ventures People and Planet Fund III LP, an African startup investment fund managed by Novastar Ventures Ltd. (Representatives: Steve Beck, Andrew Carruthers; Head Office: U.K., ), the largest venture capital firm in Africa.

Novastar annually screens over 100 African startups and has invested in many startups that are making significant contributions to solving social issues and promoting economic development in Africa. Through investment in Novastar-managed funds, MOL will acquire the latest information on promising startups that could become its partners and accelerate its business development in growth areas.

MOL was the first Japanese shipping company to establish a route between Japan and the east coast of Africa in 1926 and has been offering marine transport services to and from Africa for about 100 years. In recent years, the MOL Group has proactively developed various businesses, including not only ocean freight forwarding, but also air freight forwarding, land transport, warehousing, and the export of used Japanese agricultural machinery. In the future, the group aims to further expand its logistics business based on ocean freight forwarding, and create and promote business opportunities in areas that are expected to grow in Africa and help address social issues, such as green energy (e-mobility, offshore wind power generation, hydrogen, ammonia-related businesses, and so on) and sustainability in agriculture and food, as Africa’s rapid population growth and abundant resources, including renewable energy potential, are expected to expand markets and business opportunities.

MOL Group focuses on initiatives to address sustainability issues in the “BLUE ACTION 2035” management plan, and aims to achieve sustainable growth that helps address social issues and environmental concerns. The group also established a regional strategy to expand business in emerging economies, including Africa. It will utilize this investment to step up business development throughout Africa. Many startups are trying to solve social issues and achieve swift and large-scale commercialization in Africa. Through Novastar’s extensive network, the group aims to seize business opportunities with partners who share the group’s values and at the same time contribute to African society.

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