Finance

US rapper Nas backs $20mln investment in video game startup carry1st

Thursday, 20 January 2022 18:14
US rapper Nas backs $20mln investment in video game startup carry1st

(Ecofin Agency) - Eight months after it raised $6 million, Africa-focused interactive games and content publisher Carry1st has secured additional investment to support its expansion across the continent.

South Africa and New York-based mobile games publisher Carry1st has raised $20 million in a deal led by U.S. VC Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), US rapper Nas (pictured), the founders of Nigerian payment company Chipper Cash, Google, Avenir Growth Capital, and several former investors also participated in the operation.

“We are delighted to be making our first investment in an Africa-headquartered company in Carry1st, a next-generation mobile games and fintech platform. We see immense opportunity for the company to mirror outstanding successes we’ve seen in markets like India, China, and Southeast Asia,” said David Haber, partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

Last May, Carry1st raised $6mln in a Series A round. The startup, which currently has a team of 37 people in 18 countries, plans to use the additional funding to expand its game publishing business across Africa. It also plans to expand its portfolio of interactive content, strengthen its engineering team, and boost revenues by attracting new users through co-development contracts with game studios.

Carry1st estimates that by 2027 Africa will have twice as many video game players as North America currently has. The company believes the continent will be the next big growth market for games worldwide. In a 2021 report with Newzoo, Carry1st said video game revenues are expected to grow by 728% over the next decade.

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