Jay Z is now a venture capitalist.
The rapper and music mogul will soon be launching a venture capital fund with Roc Nation president Jay Brown. The pair will be teaming up with Sherpa Capital to get the fund up and running. According to Axios, Sherpa will be a partner in name only; its staff will not be leading investments nor spearheading any accounts. Jay Z and Brown are also looking for a third full-time investor and partner.
Jay Z is certainly not new to the investment world. Jay Z (along with his entertainment company Roc Nation) has been funding tech companies since 2012, including Away, the high-tech luggage purveyor, and a luxury private-jet startup called JetSmarter. Then, of course, there is his music-streaming site, Tidal. Both Jay Z and Brown have also invested in Uber’s Series B funding round.
Back in the 1990s Jay Z invested money in Roc-A-Fella Records, which he and founders Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke eventually sold to Def Jam Records. The three also launched Rocawear, a clothing line they ultimately sold for $204 million. So it’s no surprise to anyone that Jay Z is launching his own fund. If anything, the surprise is in how long it took.
Neither Jay Z nor Roc Nation have commented on the deal (and Sherpa has also declined to comment), but sources told Axios that this venture fund will be focusing on seed-stage tech opportunities. What hasn’t been released is the size of the fund, but that is mainly due to regulatory restrictions.
Shervin Pishevar, the founder of Sherpa Capital, has been investing with Jay Z for a number of years. Sherpa Capital has invested in companies such as Airbnb, Uber, and Slack.
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