All the way from Africa during my US state dpt tour, one man i would have loved to see was non other but Nasir Jones, commonly known as Nas in the hiphop circles, for he has personally influenced me on more than or two major ways.
While traditionally, he woukd have made so much noise about his entrance into tech, unlike any other hip hop artist, Nas, has been silently shifting his focus off the mic to fund the next biggest thing in technology. Most hip hop artists would have used a hook or two to drop the bombshell but Nas chose to be all quet about it like it was nothing.
By Toneo T Rutsito
I personally got a leak of it, when hip hop mogul,Puff `daddy, Sean Combs got a big mouth all about it onYouTube during one their personal celebratory drives, few minutes after Nas Got Honored with Jimmy Iovine Icon Award at RMC 2016, Which Diddy Himself handed over .
Nasir Jones, the multiplatinum-selling rapper better known by his stage moniker “Nas,” among that elite group has made his name up the most influential tech venture capitalists in the world from entertainers. . The Queens, New York-bred artist who first hit the charts more than 20 years ago has quietly metamorphosed into a prolific angel investor — founding the venture capital firm QueensBridge Venture Partners. The firm (not to be confused with the hip-hop supergroup Jones fronted back in the ’90s) funnels cash into start-ups as varied as health care, financial technology and Bitcoin, reported CNBC.
QueensBridge, based in Los Angeles, invests in more than 40 start-ups across a range of sectors like financial technology, health care and music production. That has helped put Jones in the same strata as Ashton Kutcher and U2 frontman Bono as the tech world’s most influential celebrity investors.
Nasir “Nas” Jones counts more than 30 portfolio companies including DropBox and Lyft. The rapper has made his investments through a Los Angeles-based venture fund Queensbridge Ventures, where he serves as a partner. Nas, who has 8 Platinum albums, has made some entertainment related investments, including in live broadcasting app Meerkat. But his investments are diverse, including in BitCoin firm CoinBase and financial services firm Robinhood.
Anthony Saleh, Nas’ manager and partner at QueensBridge, told CNBC that the firm invests from $100,000 to $500,000 in a company. 100 companies pitch QueensBridge Ventures every month but they invest in fewer than three of them. Several companies Nas has invested in have been big winners. Here are some of the most notable ones in no particular order:
DROPBOX – $10 BILLION VALUATION
LYFT – $5.5 BILLION VALUATION
GENERAL ASSEMBLY – RAISED $70 MILLION IN SERIES D
TILT – $400 MILLION VALUATION
ROBINHOOD – RAISED $50 MILLION IN SERIES B
CASPER – $550 MILLION VALUATION
GENIUS – RAISED $40 MILLION IN SERIES B
Nas wants “to see how you started, why you started, what are your goals and what have you done so far to get where you are, on your own.” If you’re considering pitching to QueensBridge, get your New York state of mind on and send him a note.