Hip-hop star, Jay-Z has raised a fund totaling $85M alongside his venture partners which he says will be used to invest in start-ups with a consumer focus. The star appears to be following the model recently used successfully by actor Ashton Kutcher.
Jay_Z formed the venture business in 2018. Based in San Francisco the team includes venture capitalist Larry Marcus and a long-time colleague of the rapper, Jay Brown.
There is little new information available aside from the amount now in the fund, however, it is known that a total of 54 investors are supporting Jay-Z's vision.
The billionaire's outfit, Crunchbase, has an impressive list of investments including Wheels, the e-bike seller, Savage X Fenty lingerie line by Rihanna and Hungry, a chef service.
This latest announcement confirms that Jay-Z is serious about moving into venture capital, and is likely to be following closely behind Ashton Kutcher. In 2016, Kutcher announced that he had taken a $30million fund in 2010 and increased it to a quarter of a billion dollars.
He then joined forces with U2 and Madonna manager, Guy Oseary. The pair secured another $100million dollars from Liberty Media which they used to start another fund, and they have recently announced that they have raised a further $150million to set up yet another fund.
Kutcher has set the bar for capital investments and Jay-Z and his colleagues are looking for similar success. The billionaire star has certainly made an impact, securing a place alongside other celebrities who are moving into equity markets.
Jay-Z is keen to point out that such celebrities bring more than money to the table and that their connections and exposure also provide distinct advantages for start-up ventures.
Back in the days of the New York hip-hop scene performers like Nas and Jay-Z were fighting for the top spot; now they are competing for deals.
Some of the biggest investors in the entertainment/venture capital market have originated in hip-hop with Snoop Dogg, Chamillionaire and Diddy all joining Nas and Jay-Z on the venture capital stage.
Although this trend has been financially lucrative to the investors it is also a real boost to a part of US society that is often cut off from these types of opportunities.
Both Nas and Jay-Z remember their roots and have named their venture capital operations after the projects in which they were raised, hoping to provide inspiration and encouragement to the people there.
Hip-hop stars are coming to the fore and showing that looking and speaking a certain way doesn’t stop you from making it big.