Africa-based mobile games publisher Carry1st has raised a $20 million investment led by Andreessen Horowitz.
The funding round also saw participation from Avenir, Google as well as angel investors including Nas, the founders of Axie Infinity, Yield Guild Games, and Chipper Cash among many others.
Carry1st is described by Andreessen Horowitz as “Africa’s leading mobile games publisher, serving over one million users today”.
It adds that Carry1st has “aggregated Africa’s disparate payment networks into a modern fintech platform” and has created what it calls, “a one-stop solution for other game publishers to manage, distribute, and collect payments from end users across 90 different payment methods”.
South Africa-based Carry1st was founded by Cordel Robbin-Coker, Lucy Hoffman, Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu in 2018.
The company’s products include the likes of Mine Rescue, Games Arena, Gebe!Ta and Match League.
Explaining the reasoning behind its investment in the company, Andreessen Horowitz’s David Haber and Jonathan Lai write that the firm sees “a huge opportunity for a next-generation games platform and social network in Africa”.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with founders Cordel Robbin-Coker, Lucy Hoffman, Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu, and the Carry1st team on their mission to build the Garena (Sea Ltd) of Africa.”
David Haber and Jonathan Lai, Andreessen Horowitz
They add: “Today, few international games target an African audience at launch, and even fewer localize and design for the continent — taking into account regional taste and languages.
“Payments is also a major barrier for international developers — as payment methods in Africa remain highly fragmented with 270+ mobile wallets, 500+ banks, and several card networks across 55 countries.
“For this reason, the majority of mobile games today in Africa accept payments only via PayPal or international credit cards – both of which have little to no penetration in the continent.
“Against this backdrop, we were particularly excited to meet the Carry1st team. We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with founders Cordel Robbin-Coker, Lucy Hoffman, Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu, and the Carry1st team on their mission to build the Garena (Sea Ltd) of Africa.”Music Business Worldwide