African Gaming Startup Carry1st Raises $27M in a Round Led by Bitkraft Ventures

Previous investors A16z and Konvoy Ventures also participated in the pre-Series B round.
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Quick take:

  • Carry1st has closed a $27 million funding round led by Bitkraft Ventures.
  • The pre-Series B round also attracted participation from previous investors A16z and Konvoy Ventures.
  • The African mobile gaming startup previously raised $20 million in January last year following the $6 million raised in May 2021.

Carry1st has announced a $27 million funding round led by Bitkraft Ventures. The pre-Series B round also attracted participation from previous investors including A16z and Konvoy Ventures. Other venture capital firms that invested in the latest round include TTV Capital, Alumni Ventures, Lateral Frontiers VC and Kepple Ventures.

In the January 2022 fundraising, A16z led the round with American rapper Nas, Google and Avenir Growth also participating. Konvoy led the May 2021 round.

Co-founded by CEO Cordel Robbin-Coker in 2018, Carri1st is a social gaming startup based in South Africa. The company has primarily been building mobile games but has recently targeted new gaming concepts including blockchain games.

Speaking to TechCrunch about the new funding, Carry1st CEO Robbin-Coker said: “We now have, in our minds, the three best funds that focus on gaming and web3. And so it just adds even more resources, perspective and assistance to help us achieve our goals.”

Carry1st is targeting the next generation of gamers in sub-Saharan Africa with some reports predicting a whopping 180 million new gamers in the continent over the next five years. Africa has experienced one of the biggest growth stories in the mobile gaming sector over the past decade, and now, investors think it could experience the same success in the new age of gaming.

Carry1st has already announced partnerships with leading developers towards this goal, including a collaboration with American video game publisher Riot Games and the multiplayer online battle game League of Legends.

Carry1st’s partnership with Riot Games will see it facilitate local payments for the US video game developer, which Robbin-Coker called a huge opportunity for his company to utilise its technology.

“We figured that we may as well leverage the opportunity to partner with awesome big game companies that maybe aren’t yet ready to license their games to us fully but would like to make more money in the region and understand how profitable Africa can be for them,” TechCrunch reported.


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