Tag Archives: Viddy

Celebrity Cyber Report – JayZ, Kevin Durant

JayZ

Rapper/entreprenuer/business mogul JayZ is launching a venture capital fund. The brother has the Midas touch and knows how to use it. In 2011 the husband of Beyonce invested in Uber and that blew up. The ride company is worth 200 times what was when he invested. He launched RocaWear. BOOM! That blew up. He purchased Tidal and jumped into the streaming media game. He is also invested in several alcohol beverage brands. Put simply this black man knows where to put money to make money.

JayZ and longtime friend and business partner and RocNation co-founder Jay Brown are hooking up withPrimary Venture Partners and GlassBridge Asset Management to form the new firm, Arrive. Primary acting as advisor to guide JayZ’s investments, and GlassBridge will provide business infrastructure support. JayZ is currently looking for the right mind to lead the fund.

JayZ  and RocNation have an impressive track record when it come to investing. Check it out.

  • Stance The Jays’ Roc Nation invested $6 million in the premium sock company Stance. It’s gone on to raise a total of $116 million from top Silicon Valley investors.
  • Uber Jay Z invested when the company was valued at just $300 million. Now Uber is valued at $62.5 billion.
  • JetSmarter JayZ personally invested in JetSmarter’s in 2014 and 2016. The “Uber for private jets” startup is hoping people will pay huge upfront membership fees for free luxury flights later.
  • DevialetRocNation’s most recent investments is with high-end french speaker maker Devialet. It’s too early to tell but Devialet speakers get rave reviews and are sold at Apple stores.

But not all has been rosy for the rapper. Investing is a gamble and sometime you lose. JayZ dropped money on Viddy/Supernova an “Instagram for video” concept in 2012 before Instagram became the Instagram for video. The company failed, was re-branded as Supernova, and was sold. No profit there.  RocNation invested in BlackJet a private jet startup in 2012. BlackJet crashed taking JayZ’s money with it.

JayZ and RocNation are expected to focus on seed-stage funding of tech startups.

NBA All Star Kevin Durant

Last summer the Golden Sate Warriors landed the most sought after NBA baller, probably in the history of the game, Kevin Durant. The Golden State is the home of Silicon Valley, the home of high tech gold. Making himself at home Durant and his agent Richard Kleiman unveiled a start-up of their own, the Durant Company, with an expanding portfolio of investments in tech companies like Postmates and Acorns. The portfolio also holds investments in hotels, restaurants, film and television development. Durant is  also investing with Ronald Conway, one of Silicon Valley’s top angel investors and consulting with Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’s widow, on his own charity foundation.

Durant may have caught the tech investment bug from his teammate Andre Iguodala, who is an investor in Twitter, Facebook and Tesla. By the way Durant drives a black Model S Tesla.

See also: Durant Puts His Money and Celebrity Behind Postmates.

Rap & Hip-Hop Artists Invest in Technology

Rap and hip-hop music has become an artistic and economic power. Rap artists have become cultural icons and trendsetters. These black men rose from the hard streets of the inner city to the glass covered corporate towers of American business. Along the way they raked in billions of dollars investing everything from jeans to vodka to water. Black rap artists, with little or no college education, are proving they are top notch businessmen. And now these brothas have set their sites on the technology sector.

NAS_2_1024Rapper Nas, whose real name is Nasir Bin Olu Daren Jones, has accumulated a $20 million dollar fortune. The rapper invested in technology by becoming a key backer of the technology start up that created the Fixed app. The smartphone app helps the user fight parking tickets.  Nas  invested in another San Francisco technology company called Proven. The company makes an app that helps job seekers apply to online job postings through their smartphones. Nas said in an interview, “Jobs are a concern for the nation and Proven is all about that, so I’m all about Proven.”

Nas and his manager, Aymen Anthony Saleh, are not shy when it comes to the technology game. Since 2013, the two invested their own capital into 40 startup technology companies. These companies stretch across the spectrum of services and ecommerce including fashion, business communications and even healthy eating. Nas strongly believes in diversifying his start up investments.


kovvers-rapper-ti_071312094730Rapper TI has invested in a start up known as
YOPIMA which stands for “Your Opinion Matters.” TI dropped a healthy $600,000 on this latest app for searching out entertainment. It allows the user to read what the clubs are like in whatever city they may find themselves. Users can decide where to go and what to do based on things like whether you’re hitting a bar or event based on a number of factors, like drink specials and V.I.P. privileges.

 

Bruno-MarsFunk artist Bruno Mars jumped aboard the music startup Chromatik which makes digital versions of sheet music for both the web and iPad. Bruno also invested in electronic cigarette company NJOY. A product he personally uses.

 

 

 

 

GTY_jay-z_nt_131025_16x9_992Unquestioned rap mogul Jay-Z recently acquired Swedish tech company Aspiro for $56 million. Jay-Z is breaking into the hot music streaming market against such powerhouse services like SpotifyAspiro operates WiMP  and hi-def service Tidal. These streaming services target committed audiophiles by offering daily track recommendations, curated playlists and interviews with artists. The music and audio streams and download in the FLAC format.

Jay-Z is not limiting his tech investments to music related businesses. He also invested in Duracell’s Powermat that charges batteries for smartphones and other mobile devices. He also partnered with Will Smith to kick-off the popular video-sharing app Viddy.

 

dr__dre_detox_my_art_about_new_album_by_drzechu-d5nehlyDr. Dre, hip-hop’s first billionaire, got that way by selling his Beats headphones business to Apple.  The rap icon and his business partner, Jimmy Iovine, sealed a $3 billion deal with Apple Inc.  Dre and Iovine are getting $2.6 billion in cash, $400 million in Apple stock and jobs with the company. 

The Apple CEO Tim Cook  hasn’t said what exactly Dr. Dre would be doing in his Apple job. But what he did say was the Beats music streaming service is a powerful selling point. Beats expects to put Apple, the world’s biggest seller of music, into the lucrative streaming music business. Beats will compete with YouTube, Pandora, Spotify and Jay-Z’s new music streaming acquisition.  Dre, a product of the hard streets of Compton, CA, helped turn rappers Eminem and 50 Cent into huge stars as a producer.

 

50-cent-before-i-self-destruct_1As always there is the problem of dealing with people who don’t take rappers seriously when it comes to investing. Rapper 50 Cents, who reportedly made $100 million from his VitaminWater investment, waited patiently to put his money into Gunnar Optiks. The company makes various types of glasses designed for today’s digital lifestyle. One pair helps reduce eye strain associated with staring at LCD screens all day long.  Gunnar Optiks originally only wanted a celebrity endorsement deal with 50 Cent. But the rapper said, “Come on, I don’t know what you take me for but let me be a proper investor.”

Now you now