January 23, 2023

Web3 Startup Raises $27M To Revolutionize Gaming In Africa

South African startup Carry1st has raised $27 million in latest funding round to tap into the gaming industry in Africa. 

Carry1st’s funding round  

The funding round, led by gaming-focused VC firm BITKRFT Ventures, also included VC Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), TTV Capital, Lateral Capital, Alumni Ventures, and Kepple Ventures. 

The investment will help Carry1st create a steady financial infrastructure to prepare for Africa’s fast-paced gaming space. 

“We’re delighted to partner with BITKRAFT, one of the world’s top gaming VC firms, alongside a16z and other existing investors as we continue on our mission to scale awesome content in Africa,” said Cordel Robbin-Coker, co-founder of Carry1st in an interview. “2022 was a year of significant growth, but with our partners, we look forward to making 2023 even better.” 

Coincidentally, Carry1st’s latest investment comes exactly one year after the platform raised $20M in a Series A extension round from a16z, Avenir, Google, and others. 

What is Carry1st?  

Carry1st, founded by Lucy Hoffman, Tinotenda, and Cordel Robbin-Coker, is a leading gaming company that develops and publishes mobile games for African users.  

Carry1st gaming app

The Cape Town-based startup – which initially started as a game studio – has partnered with thousands of content owners across the globe to build the continent’s first super app. 

According to reports, the gaming industry in Africa is expected to increase by 728% in the next ten years. This means the continent is on track to becoming one of the biggest growth markets for mobile gamers. 

“Africa is home to the largest population of young people in the world, and this upcoming generation will grow up digitally native with video gamers as their primary entertainment preference,” said Jens Hilgers, General Partner at BITKRAFT Ventures. 

Carry1st is working to build a stable financial infrastructure to prepare for Africa’s rapidly evolving gaming space. The company currently intersects with a range of sectors, including gaming, fintech, and web3, with an overall mission of developing high-end content to solve challenging problems. 

“We have full conviction in Carry1st’s impressive founding team and their vision of building out foundational infrastructure and localized content, ensuring that gaming and interactive entertainment in Africa will thrive!”

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Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.