Jay Z Is Launching A Venture Capital Fund To Help Early Stage Entrepreneurs Succeed
Even a casual Jay Z fan has to admit that the Brooklyn, New York MC has redefined what it means to be a businessman. The young hustler from Bed-Stuy is now one of the wealthiest and most successful entrepreneurs and artists in music history, pushing the boundaries of Rap fame to include fortunes in beverages, books, fashion, nightlife, real estate, sports, and of course, record labels. With more than 30 years in the game, the man born Shawn Carter has taken risks in business – some of which haven’t paid off, but some which have proven to be monumentally fruitful. He’s become a full-fledged investor in a handful of companies, including what is likely his most notable acquisition yet: Tidal.
With all of his advancements in business, Mr. Carter has taken a major step towards expanding his portfolio by launching a venture-capital firm of his own. Colloquially known as “VC,” venture capitalism is a form of investment which, by definition, carries with it a strong element of risk. Venture capitalists put up money into fledgling businesses based on the belief that the company will become successful (and provide them with huge returns on their initial investment). Together with Roc Nation president Jay Brown, Carter has formed a venture-capital fund of his own, an as-of-yet unnamed firm that will focus on technology-based companies.
As reported by CNBC, (citing this report from AXIOS), Carter and Brown are partnering with Sherpa Capital, a VC firm based in San Francisco, California which has invested in companies like airbnb and Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One. However, AXIOS reports “this won’t be a Sherpa-branded effort, and existing Sherpa staff won’t be leading investments,” suggesting that Carter and Brown will be leading the charge in defining how the VC fund operates. Calling this venture “the institutionalization of Jay Z and Jay Brown’s previous angel investing activities,” AXIOS is referring to the two entrepreneurs’ history of being “angel investors” – that is, individuals who provide start-ups with the seed money needed as capital.
CNBC quotes start-up investor Jon Vanhala as saying that performers like Jay Z in many ways see themselves in the start-ups in which they invest. “They were unknown at some point and now they are global social super stars,” he says before adding “they all started out somewhere. Ninety-nine percent had to battle their way up….They know how challenging it is got get someone to pay attention to you.”
Due to regulatory restrictions, parties involved with the new VC fund have not commented on the story as it stands today (February 22). However, as Jay Z’s VC fund searches for investment partners and companies in which to invest, Heads should be on the look out for more information in what is a major look for Hip-Hop.