Africa Gaming Firm Receives Backing from Rapper Nas as Andreessen Horowitz Leads VCs

Africa-focused mobile gaming firm Carry1st has raised $20M in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with rapper Nas, Google and Avenir Growth also participating.
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Quick take:

  • Africa-focused mobile gaming firm Carry1st raised $20 million led by Andreessen Horowitz.
  • American Rapper Nas, Google and Avenir Growth Capital also participated in the fundraising.
  • The firm will use the capital to ramp up product offering, expand the workforce and speed up the user acquisition campaign.

Rapper Nas, Google and Avenir Growth Capital participated in Carry1st’s $20 million funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. The Africa-focused mobile gaming company said it will use the proceeds of the funding to revamp its user acquisition campaign, build a workforce, and expand content offerings. 

Carry1st, which launched four years ago is also looking to partner with studios for new concepts, enabling it to develop an infrastructure for play-to-earn gaming. Blockchain games have become a popular trend in the gaming industry driven by the explosion of the metaverse.

Commenting on the partnership, Andreessen Horowitz General Partner David Haber said the US private equity firm was excited about its first investment in an African-based company being Carry1st.

“We see immense opportunity for the company to mirror outstanding successes we’ve seen in markets like India, China, and Southeast Asia,” said Haber.

Africa is rapidly gaining the attention of global venture capitalists. Last year, the continent oversaw more than 500 early-stage funding rounds, a majority raising less than $5 million. US investors led most of the funding rounds and continue to dominate the space. 

Africa’s young population combined with growing penetration of the internet and smartphones creates an exciting opportunity for mobile and fintech companies, according to Bloomberg Quint. Carry1st believes that by 2027 the continent will have double the number of gamers in North America today.

Andreessen Horowitz, which raised $9 billion earlier this month is looking to invest in disruptive startups in fintech and other exciting markets. The gaming industry has become one of the most exciting prospects amid the metaverse craze.

Technology giants like Microsoft are betting nearly $69 billion on the future of gaming, with CEO Satya Nadella saying the computing software maker’s recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard will provide the building blocks for the metaverse.

Carry1st thinks, a16z’s experience in betting on blockchain gaming companies, the metaverse and NFTs is the perfect partner for the gaming firm’s leap into Web3.

“We’re excited to partner with this world-class group of investors who, in addition to capital, bring expertise across gaming, fintech, and web3,” said Carry1st Co-founder and CEO Cordel Robbin-Coker.

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