Chamillionaire, E-40 Join Forces to Invest in Minority Startups: 'We Have to Create More Diversity in This Industry'

Image: Jeff Christensen and Paul A. Hebert (AP Photo)

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.

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“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.”

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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About the author

Jay Connor

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.