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JAY-Z’s investment helps NFT marketplace Bitski raise $19 million

Roc Nation co-founder Jay Brown, Troy Carter and Serena Williams also contributed to the Series A funding round.

JAY-Z Kevin Mazur/Getty

Billionaire hip hop mogul JAY-Z is among the investors included in NFT platform Bitski’s Series A funding round. The self-proclaimed “Shopify for NFTs” raised $19 million from a variety of contributors.

Bitski made the announcement on Thursday (May 6), revealing its investors and the multi-million dollar amount they received.

“We’re excited to announce our Series A raise today! Bitski is grateful to be backed by a brilliant team of investors that support our relentless efforts to evolve the way we interact with digital content,” the company tweeted.

The founders of The Hundreds streetwear brand, Bobby and Ben Hundreds, Roc Nation co-founder Jay Brown, Troy Carter, Serena Williams, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) are also on the long list of investors.

Bitski’s goal is to provide a simple platform for game developers, brands and average consumers to create, buy and sell digital products. The San Francisco based startup was founded in 2018 by Donnie Dinch. Initially, Dinch and company aimed to be the “Venmo for Cryptocurrency” posing as a crypto wallet platform. However, the vision changed in 2020. Bitski began focusing on NFTs, and shifted its site to become a marketplace for the virtual goods.

Thus far, Bitski has partnered with World Wrestling Entertainment to release an NFT featuring The Undertaker, and worked with Adidas and the no. 1 NFL draft pick Trevor Lawrence on animated digital trading cards. The company also created a custom storefront for streetwear brand Staple and virtual sneaker creators RTFK, who released an NFT dubbed “METAPIGEON” this week.

JAY-Z’s involvement is a good indication that the Roc Nation founder will likely produce his own NFTs very soon. It will be interesting to see how this chess move fits into Hov’s other recent business endeavors. Last year, JAY launched his first cannabis brand Monogram. This year, he helped create a $10 million fund to invest in minority-owned cannabis companies. He also sold a majority stake of his music streaming company Tidal to Square’s founder Jack Dorsey. That move came shortly after he sold half of his stake in Armand de Brignac champagne to LVMH. Will Bitski serve as a gateway for more rappers to get involved with NFTs?

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