African mobile game publisher Carry1st is Andreessen Horowitz’s African investment with a $20m Series A

Carry1st, an African mobile game publisher, has announced a $20 million Series A expansion round led by respected Silicon Valley firm Andreessen Horowitz, its first at an Africa-based company.

With participation from Avenir and Google, other top angel investors in this round included Grammy winner and crypto investor Nas and the founders of Chipper Cash, Sky Mavis and Yield Guild Games.

Its $6 million Series A investors in May 2021 have again joined the expansion round, namely Riot Games, Konvoy Ventures, Raine Ventures and TTV Capital.

“We are thrilled to partner with this group of world-class investors who, in addition to capital, bring expertise in games, fintech and web3,” said Cordel Robbin-Coker, CEO and co-founder of Carry1st.

“In 2021, we launched several games and digital commerce solutions with very strong growth. Together, we can accelerate this growth and achieve our goal of becoming the region’s leading consumer internet company.

Since launching its game publishing platform last May, Carry1st has grown more than 90% month over month, Robbin-Coker told me. “Our team has almost doubled in 2021 in order to support and capitalize on growth. This funding from some of the most renowned investors in the world will take us to the next level. »

“We have an incredible market opportunity; coupled with a clear strategy and the resources needed to realize that potential. In short, we have a chance, which is very exciting,” he added.

Carry1st partners with mobile game studios and content owners around the world to enable them to “profitably launch their content in the region”. We have developed a payment platform that allows users to purchase using their preferred payment method, and a marketplace for digital products”.

Having recently partnered with online payments provider PayPal and Chipper Cash, its users can now also pay for digital services such as Tinder subscriptions, mobile data and game currency.

Robbin-Coker believes that connecting international content owners to “a large base of engaged and ambitious users” is one way to help solve Africa’s notorious connectivity issues.

“Due to app distribution and digital payment issues in the region, it’s extremely difficult for studios to make money from their games – and for consumers to pay for the content they want,” he told me.

“As a result, consumers across Africa are underserved. We work with international publishers to access the fastest growing market in the world. Our publishing solution, which manages user acquisition, live operations, community management and monetization for our partners, is the solution to this. »

Andreessen Horowitz’s general partner, David Haber, said the company was “delighted to make our first investment in an Africa-based company” in mobile games and the fintech platform. “We see a huge opportunity for the business to mirror the outstanding successes we’ve seen in markets like India, China and Southeast Asia. We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with founders Cordel, Lucy, Tino and the Carry1st team on their mission to build the Garena of Africa.