Japan’s Toyota Tsusho Pays $3M For 9.5% Stake In Kenyan Tech Firm

By Kevin Mwanza Published: December 6, 2016, 4:41 am
Michael Macharia, founder and chief executive officer of Seven Seas Technologies at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda. (Photo: Devex)

Toyota Tsusho, owned by one of the world’s leading auto-mobile makers, Toyota Group, bought a 9.5 percent stake in Kenyan-based tech firm, Seven Seas Technology, in a deal worth $3 million.

The deal was carried out through CSV Africa, a Toyota Tsusho venture fund set up in 2014.

The investment is set to prepare the Kenyan firm for its initial public offering set for 2020 when it will list on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, according to its Chief Executive who also holds a 35 percent ownership stake, Mike Macharia, Reuters reported.

CSV Africa values the Kenyan firm at $31.4 million.

Seven Seas Technology, founded in 1999 is one of the leading information technology services providers in East Africa in the real estate, financial and telecoms sectors.

It records an average of $28 million in annual sales, Forbes reported.

The firm recently partnered with GE Healthcare, through the Kenyan government in a deal to upgrade medical infrastructure in the 47 counties, in East Africa’s biggest economy.

CSV Africa will also help Seven Seas Technology in the efforts to enhance quality and access to medical services in Kenya over the next five years, according to information its website.

The investment in Seven Seas Technology is the third by CSV Africa.

Others include a $300,000 investment in Hiroki Addis Manufacturing S.C., a leather business in Ethiopia and a $3 million investment in Katonga Farm Ltd, large-scale agricultural project in Zambia.

The investment by Toyota Tsusho will expand its presence across Africa.

In Kenya, it is involved in the energy, agricultural, mineral exploration sectors.

In August, the firm signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the government’s Vision 2030 Delivery Board to help fast-track development in these sectors, African Business reported.

In 2015, Toyota Tsusho completed the Olkaria geothermal power plant in Kenya, which it undertook with Hyundai Engineering of South Korea.

The plant, with an electricity output of 280,000 KW is the biggest in Africa, accounting for about 20 percent of the total electricity generated in Kenya.

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