SOUTH AFRICA – Carry1st, a South African publisher of social games and interactive content across Africa, has raised a US$20 million Series A extension led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
This is a16z’s first investment in an Africa-headquartered company – the firm has previously invested in Branch and Zipline, companies with some of its operations in Africa but headquartered in the United States.
The move will see Jonathan Lai and David Haber join as the board of advisors as board as observers.
Several angel investors that took part in the round are such as Nas (a Grammy winner and top Crypto investor), alongside the founder of Sky Mavis, Chipper Cash, and Yield Guild Games.
Other investors from Carry1st’s May 2021 Series A such as Riot Games, Konvoy Ventures, Raine Ventures, and TTV Capital, took part.
Carry1st, founded by Cordel Robbin-Coker (CEO), Lucy Hoffman (COO), and Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu (CTO), offers a full stack publishing solution, handles user acquisition, live operations, community management, and monetization for partners.
The company has partnered with leading companies PayPal and Chipper Cash, to allow Africa to purchase virtual goods easily and securely among them mobile data, Tinder subscriptions, and gaming currency.
Carry1st will channel this extra capital towards a 96% month revenue growth to expand its content portfolio, grow its product, growth, and engineering teams.
Carry1st is currently expanding its gaming co-development working with leading game studios on original concepts.
Cordel Robbin-Coker, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Carry1st pointed out excitement to partner with a world-class group of investors, who bring in “expertise across gaming, fintech, and web3.”
The company is working to position itself as a conduit for international and local mobile game companies while serving customers profitably.
The three-year-old company has signed publishing deals for seven games from six studios globally, including Tilting Point, publisher of Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off, which Carry1st recently launched in Africa.
Others include CrazyLabs and Sweden’s Raketspel, a studio with over 120 million downloads across its portfolio.
“We have a full-suite service that starts with distribution and partnerships. We help them create bespoke marketing materials from short-form advertising videos to statics, and we customize their content to resonate with individuals in different countries,” said Robbin-Coker.