Carry1st 20m series africaheadquarteredtakahashiventurebeat

One game, Mine Rescue, has done well in global markets. It’s a hybrid casual and puzzle game. Roughly half the revenue comes from ads and half comes from in-app purchases.

The company is also looking into building its first-party co-development business, so that it can fill gaps in the market in Africa with its own games. Carry1st has support for multiple languages, but it can hit roughly 900 million people in Africa between English and French.

The company recently partnered with online payments pioneers PayPal and Chipper Cash, to enable people across Africa to easily and securely purchase virtual goods – such as Tinder subscriptions, mobile data, and gaming currency – on the Carry1st Shop.


Register here.Cost is N60,000 or $140 for the 12-week program.

“We’re excited to partner with this world-class group of investors who, in addition to capital, bring expertise across gaming, fintech, and web3,” said Cordel Robbin-Coker, Carry1st’s CEO and co-founder.

“In 2021 we launched multiple games and digital commerce solutions achieving really strong growth. Together we can accelerate this growth and achieve our goal of becoming the leading consumer internet company in the region.”

Since launching its game publishing platform last May, Carry1st has grown by over 90% month-over-month, Robbin-Coker said.
“Our team nearly doubled in 2021 in order to support and build on the growth.

It’s one factor that piqued a16z’s interest in the company.

“Weare delightedto be making our first investment in an Africa-headquartered company in Carry1st, a next-generation mobile games and fintech platform,” Haber said in a statement.“We see immense opportunity for the company to mirror 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.”

Carry1st wasseeminglyintentional about the investors it brought into this round, especially as it looks to move deep in gaming, web3 and fintech across Africa.

As one of the largest crypto-centric funds, at over $3 billion, a16z brings unmatched expertise in gaming and web3.

I’ve followed Carry1st closely as I’ve always wondered how Africa can eventually follow in the footsteps of big regions such as China and India when it comes to the adoption and monetization of mobile games.

On the back of 96% month revenue growth, Carry1st will use the additional capital to expand its content portfolio; grow its product, engineering, and growth teams; and acquire tens of millions of new users. Notably, Carry1st is expanding into game co-development, working with leading game studios on original concepts, and developing the infrastructure to support play-to-earn gaming.

“The No.
1 thing we want to do with the funding is to expand our content portfolio,” said Cordel Robbin-Coker, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We have seven games licensed right now.

Carry1st, a South African publisher of social games and interactive content across Africa, has raised a $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 U.S).

Carry1st also received investments from Avenir and Google; it’s the latter’s second check from its Africa Investment Fund.

A couple of prominent individual investors, includingNasand the founders ofChipper Cash,Sky Mavis andYield Guild Games, took part.

The round — which is an extension of the Series A Carry1st raised last May from Riot Games, Konvoy Ventures, Raine Ventures and TTV Capital — also saw the same investors double down on their investments in the company.

Avenir and Google back South African mobile games publisher Carry1st in $20M round

Carry1st, a South African publisher of social games and interactive content across Africa, has raised a $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 U.S).

a16z, Avenir and Google back South African mobile games publisher Carry1st in $20M round

Carry1st, a South African publisher of social games and interactive content across Africa, has raised a $20 million Series A extension led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).

But the company has placed a major focus on its publishing arm since it went hybrid, co-founder and CEO Cordel Robbin-Coker said.

Since its inception, the company has signed publishing deals for seven games from six studios across the world. These studios include Tilting Point – publisher of Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off, CrazyLabs, Raketspel, etc.

The company is quite boastful of its full-suite services.
Carry1st’s CEO said “We have a full-suite service that starts with distribution, partnerships. We help them create bespoke marketing materials from short-form advertising videos to statics, and we customize their content to really resonate with individuals in different countries.
And then we operate the game and we also monetize.

Carry1st and Newzoo, the world will see an impressive 275% increase in the number of gamers over the next decade in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In its Series A extension round organized by Carry1st, the South African Web3 game’s publisher, the company received about $20 million in funds from industry leaders like Andreessen Horowitz, Google and Avenir. Some other notable names among the investor list include Nas and the founders of Yield Guild Games, Chipper Cash and Sky Mavis. This funding round was a continuation of Carry1st’s original Series A that took place in May 2021 and had seen participation from investors like Konvoy Ventures, TTV Capital, Riot Games and Raine Ventures.

Carry1st All Set to Constructively Use the New Funds

The funds raised by Carry1st will be used judiciously to consolidate and enlarge the company’s current portfolio of products and grow its teams.

It is also eyeing the possibility of developing infrastructure to support play-to-earn gaming in Africa, thus venturing into web3.

Cryptocurrency tokens such as SLP, AXS and MANAare usedin play-to-earn games. They canbe withdrawnto a crypto wallet and traded for another cryptocurrency like bitcoin orultimatelysold for fiat cash tobe usedin the real world. Carry1st wants to create on- and off-ramps (platforms that convert fiat into crypto and back) and accept crypto at point-of-sale in its marketplace.

“Whenwe thinkabout Carry1st, we want to be the leading consumer internet company in the region.Andwe thinkthat the best kind of wedge would be able to do that is a combination of gaming and micropayments and online commerce,” the CEO said.

“These industries are being prettysignificantlydisrupted or augmented with web3 and crypto.

Tilting Point, publisher of Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off, which Carry1st recently launched in Africa.

Other gaming partners include CrazyLabs, a world-leading casual and hyper-casual mobile games developer and publisher and Sweden’s Raketspel, a studio which has over 120 million downloads across its portfolio.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Carry1st to unlock the mobile gaming industry in Africa and support the team as they scale solutions to the hundreds of millions of new consumers coming online for the first time,” said Nitin Gajria, managing director for Google in Africa, in a statement.

Above: Sponge Bob: Krusty Cook-Off is licensed from Tilting Point.

Robbin-Coker said the company has been studying nonfungible tokens (NFTs), cryptocurrenices, and Web 3 as a possible way new business.

The African gaming market needs a structured infrastructure to support both local and international gaming companies to distribute and market their products better and that’s where Carry1st will make the most impact.

About Carry1st

Carry1st is a South Africa-based social games and interactive content publisher that aims to become the leading consumer internet company in the continent. It originally started operations as a game studio conceptualizing, developing and launching mobile games but with time, assumed a publishing role in addition to handling marketing and operations as well as distribution. Cordel Robbin-Coker, Lucy Hoffman and Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu were the real architects of the firm and together they established it in 2018.

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