Rapper Nas has seen much success outside of his musical career, investing in major companies, most notably the smart doorbell company Ring. The Queens native is now putting up his dollars behind another organization after partnering up with search engine giant Google.
Together, the 48-year-old, Google, American venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and “League of Legends” developer Riot Games raised $20 million in funding for South African gaming company Carry1st. Money earned will be used to expand Carry1st’s content portfolio and product/engineering teams to grow its user base.
The gaming publisher, whose games include “SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off” from studio Tilting Point, is the latest addition to the legendary emcee’s growing investment portfolio. The “Sweet Dreams” rapper has long shown interest in investing and, in 2014, created his venture capital firm QueensBridge Venture Partners.
Nas, whose real name is Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, has funded brands like Dropbox, Lyft, Robinhood, and Coinbase. Last August, the Grammy-Award-winner became the co-owner of Escobar Cigars.
“When I heard the word ‘investment’ in school, I was hooked,” he told Fast Company in 2014. “You invest your time, you can invest money, and it was just a matter of time before it all fell into place for me. That’s one of the things that I thought a lot about as a young kid—the guys behind the scenes who make things happen, help build people up, make dreams come true.”
He continued, “It is a difficult process, and you have to have the patience for it. You’re the guy who needs the investor or the guy who’s looking for something great to invest in. It takes time to get into the same circle together. And that’s part of the battle, getting everyone in the same circle and educating them on where to find investors.”
He added, “If I’m a Black man, how do I find other Black men who are businessmen who want to invest, who know something about business. Who not only just invest, but also can consult the company.”
Carry1st co-founder and CEO Cordel Robbin-Coker expressed excitement over the investment deal in a statement. “In 2021, we launched multiple games and digital commerce solutions, achieving really strong growth. Together we can accelerate this growth and achieve our goal of becoming the leading consumer internet company in the region,” Robbin-Coker added.
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