Shawn “JAY Z” Carter may very well be the first ex-crack dealer to make the move into venture capitalism.
While long time rival and fellow rapper Nassir “Nas” Jones formed Queensbridge Venture Partners with his manager Anthony Saleh and select partners back in 2014, Jay is partnering with established firms such as Glassbridge Asset Management and Primary Venture Partners. These two firms will be providing “advisory, institutional, and operation support” according to a press release provided by Roc Nation.
The new fund, called ARIVE, will be providing support primarily to early stage start-ups not just through traditional services like capital injections and business advisory, but also through branding opportunities and marketing critiques.
As more celebrities start funds to leverage their fame by partnering with early stage start ups in exchange for equity stakes, it will be interesting to see how someone like JAY Z will utilize his connections to other artists, possibly his wife Beyonce, or members on the Roc Nation roster to further the visibility of companies partnering with ARRIVE.
While both JAY and Nas have slowed their musical output and brushed off rap game rivalries as a thing of the past, the two have found themselves in competition yet again with the launch of ARRIVE.