While recording artist and entrepreneur Chamillionaire might be laying low these days on the Billboard charts, he’s been making plenty of noise as an angel investor. And with a portfolio that includes investments in Lyft, Ring (acquired by Amazon for $1 billion), Cruise (acquired by General Motors for $1 billion) and Maker Studios (acquired by Disney for $675 million), he’s ready to pour the fruits of his labor back into minority-owned businesses.
To that end, Yahoo Finance reports that the “Ridin’ Dirty” rapper has joined forces with E-40 and investment platform Republic to invest $25,000 into a startup founded by either a woman or person of color.
“Attention entrepreneurs!” the 39-year-old announced to his 303k Instagram followers. “@chamillionaire, @e40, and @joinrepublic will be INVESTING $25k in a minority or woman founded startup so watch the entire video for details.”
For Chamillionaire, it’s all about diversifying a tech industry that far too often excludes women and people of color.
“I’ve been in this tech industry for a while and I’ve been seeing a lot of people out here trying to raise capital and a lot of time it just doesn’t go to people of color or women,” Chamillionaire told Yahoo Finance’s ‘On The Move.’ He added that oftentimes there’s a “lack of options for people of color.”
And he’s right.
Per Yahoo Finance:
Research from the Center for American Entrepreneurship found that 16% of the money invested into U.S. venture-backed startups went to companies with at least one female founder. Only 2.5% of the money went to startups founded by all women. For startups founded by people of color, less than 23% were venture-backed.
“Now that I’m here, I see that there is a certain type of founder that gets, you know, funding from these companies,” Chamillionaire said. “And I understand that people tend to spend money on things that they’re comfortable with.”
He made it a point to note that often times would-be founders don’t even get a chance to receive funding, based solely upon misconceptions.
“When you see a young African American that walks in that has a hat on backwards like me, then sometimes it’s a little tough to bet on founders for something like that for someone that just doesn’t have experience with people like that,” he said. “So I think we have to create more diversity in the industry.”
Those interested in submitting their pitch have until June 15 to do so.