Hip Hop Tech Investor Nas Secures the Amazon Bag

  • Nas to make $40 million in Amazon acquisition
  • QueensBridge Venture Partners has invested in 119 companies

Nas is taking his hard-learned lessons from the main stage to the startup stage by combining two highly lucrative careers in music and technology. The rapper is reportedly set to make $40 million dollars due to Amazon’s (AMZN -3.78%) $1.2 billion acquisition of Ring, a smart doorbell company. Will hip hop artists continue to leverage their branding expertise along with promotional influence in the tech world?

Why This Matters: It makes perfect sense for successful rap artists to diversify their portfolios. As business activity between rap artists and technology startups continue to increase, the name of the game for rappers is multiple streams of income. Nas is looking to secure more money in the future with his QueensBridge Venture Partners (QBVP) fund which has invested in 119 companies. QBVP typically invests $100,000 to $500,000 in a company’s early rounds. Some of the funds investments include Lyft, Genius, Coinbase and DropBox (DBX -1.81%) which just became a publicly traded company.

He’s not the only hip hop icon with a venture capital firm focused on Silicon Valley. In 2015, Snoop Dogg launched Casa Verde Capital, a VC fund focused on early stage marijuana startups. According to Axios, Jay Z is launching a venture capital fund with a focus on seed-stage tech opportunities. This will most likely be a continuation of his current investments, like Uber’s series B raise at $300 million he participated in. Also, Pharrell started the Collaborative Fund a VC group focused on supporting and investing in the shared future.

Situational Awareness: These rappers have managed to pick some promising startups that have gone on to raise a ton more money. This makes rappers successful venture capitalist on paper, but they’ll need some big IPOs or acquisitions to continue locking in earnings. Be on the lookout for your favorite up-and-coming artists who may have a few tech ambitions up their own sleeves.

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