Local film industry attracts investors
Seven venture capitalists have shown interest in investing in the under-exploited local film industry, with an initial input of nearly Sh100 million. The international venture funds who have confirmed their interests in the business are Netherlands-based Africa Media Ventures Fund, Acumen Fund of USA and Convergence Partners based in South Africa.
Local financiers In-return Capital, Speed Capital, 88MPH and InvestQ Capital have also said they are identifying business startups to fund. They are interested in companies in music and film content production, research, distribution , advertising among other related business. The funds have indicated they are willing to put an initial 15 000 Euros - 100 000 Euros each (from Sh1.5 million to Sh10.5 million).
The Broadcast, Film and Music Africa (BFMA) conference organised by AIETEC Africa opening next week in Nairobi will give local entrepreneurial a chance to pitch their ideas to the VCs. “Venture capitalists are excited about the prospects in the Africa creative content industry and this is the inspiration behind this platform,” said Chiaka Orjiako of FilmBiz Africa, who is directing the “meet-the -Venture Capitalist” platform. “For the investors this is an exciting time to be in media business where there is a lot of creativity and innovation flowing, we want to ensure that it is ideas that determine how high an artist really flies,” Chiaka said.
The new investments come also at a time when there is rising need to create local content. Industry regulators have stipulated it mandatory for local broadcasters up to 40 per cent of content aired should be local from the current less than 10 per cent. According to the Kenya Film Commission, the entertainment industry is currently worth about Sh8.6 billion,however, when performing optimally, it is estimated can generate over Sh40 billion and create more than 250 000 jobs annually. Last year a National Film Policy was developed to direct the sector to realise its full potential of tourists attraction, investment and employment creation.