Shawn Carter, better known as Jay Z, is on the prowl for a new project. After a string of investments, according to Axios.com, he's looking to launch his own venture capital fund, possibly along with his long-time partner Jay Brown. While no details have emerged about the size of the fund, the report suggests that the fund will look at investing in seed-stage companies mostly in the tech space.
The report also mentions that the fund could potentially have some affiliation to San Francisco-based venture capital firm Sherpa Capital. The firm is known to invest into tech start-ups with the likes of Uber, Airbnb and Hyperloop One among its notable investments.
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Carter is not new to investing in privately-held companies. In 2015, he bought into the holding company for music streaming company Tidal for close to $56 million and a little over a year later, he sold a third of that company to Sprint Corp. in a deal that bumped the company’s valuation jump to $600 million.
According to Crunchbase, in December 2016 the ’99 Problems’ star participated in a $105 million funding round for JetSmarter – a company known as the ‘Uber for private jets.’ This was the second time he backed the company, having contributed in a previous round as well. Other investors in the company include the Saudi Royal Family.
Carter was also an early investor in Uber itself. Crunchbase data shows that in 2013, Carter was a part of a $360 million Series C funding round for Uber. The very next year, he invested in a $30 million round for the e-commerce beauty brand Julep. Along with making music, Carter started Roc Nation, a music, sports & entertainment company in 2008. Roc Nation, along with other celebrity investors like Ashton Kutcher, funded BlackJets - another private jet-hailing service that was eventually grounded.
But he's is not the only hip-hop star with investing acumen. Apple’s (AAPL) $3 billion acquisition of Beats Music and Electronics earned Dr. Dre’s a few hundred million. Nasir Jones founded QueensBridge Venture Partners with the likes of Lyft, Fan Duel and Casper in its portfolio. Snoop Dogg is another savvy investor with his venture firm Casa Verde Capital investing in marijuana start-ups according to Crunchbase.