Celebrities Who Invest In Tech: MC Hammer Lost A Fortune, Came Back As A ‘Tech Visionary’
involved in tech conferences, Medium reported. Among the musician’s investments are contact-sharing app Bump Technologies, mobile payment company Square, and magazine app Flipboard.
Hammer previously co-created a successful Internet dance site called DanceJam.com. He is the CEO of Alchemist Management, a sports-management firm that once represented heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. In 2011 he launched the WireDoo search engine.
In 2016, Hammer became a limited partner in a Washington, D.C.-area venture capital firm, SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, according to American Inno.
It’s the first time Hammer has been mentioned as an investor in the D.C. tech scene:
An LP (limited partner) involved with a venture capital firm is typically an investor in the firm’s fund (cash reserves), which the firm accesses to make/negotiate investments. LPs generally do not have any kind of management responsibility or input regarding investment decisions. Rather the LPs provide cash in the hopes of realizing a return via a portfolio company’s exit. As an LP in SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, Hammer is by proxy also a D.C. tech investor.
“He’s (Hammer) a tech visionary,” SV Angel founder and co-managing partner Ron Conway told SF Gate. Conway added, ”lots of other entertainers don’t get tech, but he was one of the first people to visit YouTube and Twitter and adopt these technologies; he uses it every day.”
Hammer was one of the first celebrities to join Twitter and it provided him the perfect platform to rebuild his image, according to 2Machines.
In fact, Hammer is one of the first celebrities to really push the power of Twitter. Conway, a famed Silicon Valley angel investor and early Twitter investor, said Hammer called him one day and said, “We have to go visit Twitter.” Conway was already an investor, but Hammer wanted to see for himself:
He sat across from Twitter founders Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, Conway said, and asked, “Do you know what you have here?” Hammer explained that within five years, artists would use Twitter to build audiences, advertise concerts and even sell tickets. The fans could vote on playlists, he said, and then the musicians could collaborate with them before and after the shows.
In 2014, Hammer released his “Don’t Go” video through a private release Twitter campaign to his 3.4 million Twitter followers. With “Don’t Go”, he showcased a do-it-yourself distribution model, leveraging his position as the world’s 585th most followed Twitter account.
In a 2014 Billboard interview, Hammer talked about understanding the behavior of social media, the distribution, and the desired behaviors you want to get from content:
There are more competing (music distribution) platforms every day but at the end of the day, they’re still not the best use-case for the artists. (Artists are) not getting the