Jay Z’s New Venture Capital Firm, Arrive, Will Focus On Nurturing Promising Startups

Written by Dana Sanchez

Jay Z has announced a new venture capital firm, Arrive, that will focus on nurturing promising startups.

The rap and business mogul has been planning the launch for a while, Telecrunch reported. A press release from parent company — Jay Z’s Roc Nation business empire — made it official on Monday.

The investment platform will work with early-stage startups and offer investment of capital as well as assistance with business development, branding and more to help those select companies flourish, the official announcement said.

Shawn “Jay Z” Carter has already invested in startups, according to Business Insider. Among the companies in his portfolio are luggage company Away, nail parlor company Julep and private jet provider JetSmarter — an Uber for private jets. The JetSmarter app lets anyone who can afford it book a flight on a private jet in a matter of seconds. Members pay $9,000 a year — about $800 a month — to get unlimited access to private flights.

Roc Nation has partnered with New York-based venture capital firm Primary Venture Partners, which will be a venture advisor to the Arrive fund, and GlassBridge Asset Management, which will provide institutional and operational support. Primary Venture Partners is a seed-stage venture firm managed by co-founders and general partners Ben Sun and Brad Svrluga. GlassBridge is an investment advisor focused on technology-driven and quantitative strategies. It partially owns Nexsan Corporation, a data storage business. 

Roc Nation plans to spend 2017 focusing on socially responsible investing, but it’s unclear which companies Arrive will initially invest in.

Jay Z founded Roc Nation in 2008 with Jay Brown. In addition to being an all-encompassing entertainment company, Roc Nation has expanded into music streaming with Tidal. Jay Z also represents athletes with his Roc Nation Sports division, Rolling Stone reported.

With Arrive, the company has shifted toward venture capital. The platform provides startups with “brand services, business development, advisory and capital to drive growth in their organizations,” Roc Nation said in a statement.

“Arrive was created to leverage our experience and resources in building brands, developing consumer-facing businesses, managing artists and representing athletes,” Roc Nation’s Head of New Ventures Neil Sirni said. “We’ve opened that diversified, global range of expertise to a new vertical: entrepreneurs and their early stage businesses.”

Arrive’s unique sales pitch to potential investment targets revolves heavily around its experience in brand building, Telecrunch reported. The company is unique among VC firms in terms of its exposure to the task of managing and building up artists, as well as athletes. It’s hoping to leverage that experience into something a bit different from the status quo in venture capital, according to the release, which could be a very appealing edge indeed to consumer-focused startups looking to accelerate their growth.

Other startups Jay Z has invested in include Stance and Uber.