Shawn “Jay Z” Carter once said success is defined by “your way, your terms.” The rapper grew up understanding the value of budgets and the need for funding to start a business, whether it was a barbershop in Brooklyn or, more recently, the Uber of private jets.
Jay Z now plans to launch a venture capital fund with business partner and Roc Nation president Jay Brown, reports Axios business editor Dan Primack thanks to a tip from unnamed sources. Primack reported yesterday that Jay Z and Brown are also seeking a full-time investment partner and have partnered with San Francisco-based VC firm Sherpa Capital, which has invested in Uber and Airbnb. They haven’t set a target for the size of the fund.
No one involved has spoken publicly on the issue. The focus is said to be on seed-stage tech opportunities, “with this really being the institutionalization of Jay Z and Jay Brown’s previous angel investing activities,” such as Uber, JetStarter and Tidal, according to Axios.
Earlier this year, Jay Z sold a third of Tidal to US wireless carrier Sprint for $200 million, valuing the music streaming service at $600 million—more than 10 times what Jay Z paid for the company. Here are just a few of Jay Z’s other entrepreneurial efforts:
- 1995: Co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records (later sold for over $10 million)
- 1999: Founded Rocawear apparel (one of its most recent campaign faces was DJ Khaled)
- 2003: Founded the 40/40 sports bar franchise (where Hillary Clinton once dropped $15,000 in one night)
- 2005: Became part owner of New Jersey Nets
- 2005: Invested in Carol’s Daughter beauty products company
- 2008: Founded Roc Nation management and entertainment company
Primack tweeted that Jay Z’s move could signal a saturated market for venture capitalists.
Perhaps the millionaire, who became the first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame today, felt inspired by his friend and fan Kobe Bryant’s $100 million venture capital fund. Jay Z’s verse in a 2016 Pusha T song shows he’s no stranger to the hustle.