2014: Nas Invests In Ring & PillPack. 2018: Amazon Buys Ring & PillPack For $1B Each

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Written by Dana Sanchez

Hip-hop artist, entrepreneur and tech investor Nas, 44, was an early investor in PillPack, an online pharmacy that Amazon just bought for $1 billion.

Nas’ venture capital fund, QueensBridge Venture Partners, participated in a 2014 Series B investment round that raised $8.8 million for the startup, which streamlines the prescription drug delivery process for people who need multiple daily medications.

Prior to the sale to Amazon, PillPack raised more than $117 million in outside funding from backers including QueensBridge Venture Partners and Facebook-investors Accel Partners, and Sherpa Capital. Earlier investors included a group led by venture capital firms Atlas Ventures and Founder Collective, CNBC reported.

This isn’t the first time Amazon has bought a company whose early investors included QueensBridge Venture Partners. In February 2018, the e-commerce giant bought home security tech startup Ring for $1.1 billion, Forbes reported.

Nas’ QueensBridge Venture Partners invested $4.5 million in Ring in a July 2014 Series A round. The Amazon sale earned Nas a reported $40 million, according to Forbes.

Nas performs at HOT 97’s “The Tip Off” at Madison Square Garden, Feb. 12, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP)

So how rich is Nas?

He has released 11 full-length albums and sold millions of records during his music career.

“(Nas) has high status within the black community for his work as a kind of poet laureate. It’s been 24 years since Illmatic, an album that will stand as one of the greatest rap releases of all time. He’s been one of the pre-eminent voices of an entire generation of Black Americans. ” — The Undefeated.

Celebrity Net Worth put Nas’ net worth at $50 million, but there was no date attached to that.

The Los Angeles-based QueensBridge Ventures has made 128 investments and 28 exits since 2014, according to Crunchbase. His investments have range from cryptocurrency and ticket reseller SeatGeek, to digital media brand Genius and ride-sharing service Lyft. Nas also invested in direct-to-consumer mattress company Casper.

Over the years, Nas has maintained a strong interest in new technology. QueensBridge investments typically range in the $100,000-to-$500,000 range. The fund receives more than 100 pitches per month from new firms seeking capital.

How Nas invests

These are some of the other tech investments Nas has made through QueensBridge:

  • August Home, Inc. develops smarter home access products and services including the award-winning August Smart Lock.
  • Tilt allows users to pool funds for objectives in a simple, social, and frictionless way online.
  • Earnest is a technology-lender that brings low-interest loans to high-potential people.
  • Pocket is an app that allows users to save and retrieve documents and videos from websites.
  • fitmob: ClassPass, founded in New York City in 2014, is a monthly fitness membership that connects members to thousands of fitness studios and gyms
  • Whistle is a device and mobile app system created to monitor a pet’s activity and health.

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