For the Houston rapper Chamillionaire, Black History Month is all about giving back.
Because on Friday, Feb. 1, the “Ridin’” creator said he would be putting a substantial amount of money to a Black-owned startup.
“So lately in my circle of peers, we’ve been having a lot of conversations about better ways that we can support Black founders and entrepreneurs and ways we can invest more money back into our communities,” he said in a one minute clip. “And since it’s Black History Month, I want to kick things off by investing $10,000 in a Black founder’s company.”
“Out of all the money being raised out there, companies with Black founders make up less than 1 percent of the total, and companies with Black women founders make up 0.2 percent, so we gotta do better,” he added. “And just to be clear, this is not charity. I’m investing $10,000 in a company that deserves it.”
The 39-year-old then said those interested would need to download his Convoz app, head to the profile page and send him a 15-second pitch video of the company. Plus, he promised to respond to every single applicant, so people shouldn’t send any more than two clips. The app is available only on iOS.
The rapper will eventually post some of his favorite pitches to his Instagram page and select a winner on March 1 of this year. But made it clear he’ll also pitch in to help the winner’s business flourish.
Chamillionaire is just the latest rapper to make headlines for investing in a startup. Last month Nas‘ Queensbridge Venture Partners made a nice chunk of change after Viacom purchased the streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million. Queensbridge Venture Partners were early investors in Pluto TV.
Other rappers who’ve invested in startups include Jay-Z, who’s company Roc Nation invested in Promise last year, a company that helps those who are arrested and can’t afford bail.
Snoop Dogg‘s venture capital fund Casa Verde Capital invested in a string of cannabis related companies in recent years, like Green Tank Technologies that designs vaporizers.
And the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am‘s I.am+ invested in Honest Dollar, a company that helps small businesses offer retirement plans to employees. Honest Dollar was purchased by Goldman Sachs in 2016.
You can watch Chamillionaire’s video about helping Black startup companies below.