SA Startup Carry1st Secures $2.5m Seed Funding Round

Carry1st funding

  • Carry1st, a game development startup based in Cape Town, has raised $2.5 million seed round led by Johannesburg-based venture capital ( VC) fund CRE Venture Capital.
  • The latest seed round brings the total amount that Carry1st has raised since inception in 2018 to $4m. The company has offices in Cape Town, New York and Lagos.
  • The startup says the funding will go to hiring new employees, invest in application technologies and create new content.

Carry1st, a startup based in Cape Town that is looking to use games to create what could be Africa’s first super app, has raised $2.5 million seed funding round led by Johannesburg-based venture capital ( VC) fund CRE Venture Capital.

Also participating in the round were Perivoli Innovations, Chandaria Capital, Lateral Capital and the Future Hub of Transsion, Kam Kronenberg III, among others.

The startup was founded in 2018 by American Lucy Hoffman (formerly Parry) and Sierra Leonean Cordel Robbin-Coker.

Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu (pictured above, right), who serves as lead engineer and who joined in January last year, is now also listed as a co-founder.

The latest seed round brings the total amount that Carry1st has raised since inception in 2018 to $4m. The company has offices in Cape Town, New York and Lagos.

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The latest round brings its total capital raised since its inception to $4-million. Robbin-Coker revealed last year that Carry1st had raised about $2-million seed funding round from prominent angel investors in Africa and the U.S. that he had not named.

The startup said in a statement published today that the money will go to hiring new employees, invest in app technologies and create new content. The startup’s board will be joined by Pardon Makumbe, CRE’s managing partner, and Henry Lowenfels, One Team Partners chief product officer.

The startup claims to have reached more than 1.5 million users across the region since it launched the app last year. In Nigeria and Kenya, Carry1st Trivia was ranked number one free-to-play Android game and was named Best Media & Entertainment Solution for 2019.

The company plans to partner with international studios to launch multiple games and to scale its audience to more than one million active monthly users.

Robbin-Coker made this known in the same statement, “Social gaming is the largest and fastest-growing form of mobile media, grossing more than three times all other app categories combined. Our mission is to bring this world of interactive content to Africa and likewise to connect Africa to the world.”

“Our belief is that building a local publisher, with differentiated tech and operating capabilities across marketing, distribution, and monetisation is the way to be this bridge,” he said.

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