Now this is certainly one for the books! Jay-Z is launching his own venture capital fund, according to various sources who report this will be a partnership with Roc Nation president Jay Brown.
Currently in early stages, the word is that Jay-Z is setting up the Venture Capital fund to lead investments in a series of firms and start ups. With their focus expected to be in seed funding tech start-ups and other new ventures, Jay-Z and Jay Brown are no newbies with a series of angel investments already under their belt. Previous investments include Uber’s Series B, at a $300m pre-money as well as companies like high-tech luggage maker Away, nail-parlor company Julep, and private-jet startup JetSmarter. With the Sprint investment in place for their music streaming service Tidal, it looks like Jay-Z is ready to expand into new business ventures.
The fund will be partnered with Sherpa Capital and a potential third investment partner who is currently being sought out by the pair, the rumour is the fund will focus on seed-stage companies but no fund size target has yet been announced (due to regulatory restrictions).
*Updated 6th March – Roc Nation Announced ARRIVE
Roc Nation, a full-service entertainment company founded by Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, announced an innovative new platform, ARRIVE, that will partner with a select group of early stage start-ups by providing them with brand services, business development, advisory and capital to drive growth in their organizations.
“ARRIVE was created to leverage our experience and resources in building brands, developing consumer facing businesses, managing artists and representing athletes. We’ve opened that diversified, global range of expertise to a new vertical: entrepreneurs and their early stage businesses” said Neil Sirni, Head of New Ventures at Roc Nation. ARRIVE also anticipates the launch of a traditional venture fund in order to, among other activities, support existing portfolio companies through their subsequent growth stages.
ARRIVE was formed through a collaboration with Primary Venture Partners and GlassBridge Asset Management . Primary will serve as a venture advisor and GlassBridge, a subsidiary of GlassBridge Enterprises Corp. (NYSE: GLA), will provide institutional and operational support.
Primary Venture Partners co-founder and General Partner, Ben Sun, said, “What Roc Nation has built so far is a true testament to their vision, capabilities and willingness to dig in and take their companies to the next level. We are thrilled to partner with the amazing team at ARRIVE and to leverage these unique resources to build the next generation of powerful brands.”
In addition to ARRIVE, Roc Nation intends to formalize its focus on social impact investing later in 2017. Separately, Roc Nation and its principals continue to strengthen various partnerships to expand its presence in the high growth, early stage community.