Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show made history as the first with rap as its focus. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar, all natives of the Los Angeles area, and Eminem, 50 Cent and Mary J. Blige took the stage at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood to perform before the LA Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals.
Besides being acclaimed artists, most of the group are also active investors in various businesses. Because we’re always looking for the startup angle around here, we pulled the investment history of each of the artists.
Snoop Dogg, aka Calvin Broadus, is probably the most prolific startup investor of the group. The rapper has made at least 12 personal investments in startups, according to Crunchbase data, including in companies like Reddit, Robinhood and Klarna. His most recent investments were early childhood meal startup Yumi and social collaboration marketplace Pearpop last year.
Snoop is also the founder of Casa Verde Capital, which has made 32 investments to date in companies like cannabis delivery company Eaze (very fitting) and recruiting platform Vangst. Casa Verde Capital closed on a $100 million second investment fund in late 2020.
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Marshall Mathers, otherwise known as Eminem, has made at least two investments, according to Crunchbase data. He invested in Genius (a website used to understand the references and meanings behind the lyrics of songs) in 2015, and digital creation platform MakersPlace in 2021. Eminem’s investments have had at least one exit, when Genius was acquired by Medialab in 2021.
Dr. Dre, aka Andre Young, hasn’t invested in startups on his own, according to Crunchbase data (of course, he could’ve privately made investments that haven’t been disclosed). But he’s arguably the most well-known businessperson of the group. Dre’s the founder of Beats Electronics (or Beats by Dre). Beats raised at least $800 million in venture and private equity funding before Apple acquired the company in 2014 for $3.2 billion, Apple’s largest acquisition ever at the time.
Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Kendrick Lamar’s fairly new in the venture investing game, according to Crunchbase data. The rapper made his first startup investment last year in audio engineer marketplace EngineEars’ pre-seed round.
50 Cent, who made a surprise appearance during the Super Bowl Halftime Show, has made at least two investments in startups, according to Crunchbase data. The rapper, who said last year he’d move to Texas to save on taxes, invested in mattress company Casper’s Series C round in 2017, and in avatar tech company Genies in 2018.
Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige doesn’t appear to have made any investments in startups, according to Crunchbase data. But who cares, she’s still a superstar.
Photo: Snoop Dogg speaks onstage during day one of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015 at Pier 70 on September 21, 2015 in San Francisco. (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch; used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)
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