#Bounce Exclusive: 4 Ways Nigerian Celebrities Can Invest In Tech Businesses
It’s now a level playing field as venture capitalists and corporate organizations aren’t the only ones staking their money in tech startups.
Celebrities are also ploughing millions of dollars into new ideas in the hope that one day they'll become the next Google or Facebook.
Everyone knows Jay Z.
The rapper and business man put his money in Uber in 2011. The e-taxi service is now worth 200 times more than he initially invested.
In 2017, he launched a new venture capital firm called Arrive, to work with early-stage startups, and offer investment of capital as well as assistance with business development.
There are many other celebrities who have put their weight behind ideas that they are passionate about.
Digital Influencer, Ifeanyi Abraham says Nigerians are not left out of this new 'celebrity-investor' status.
“Tech in Nigeria is becoming a much more attractive investment and smart celebrities like Don Jazzy, El Dee and Mr Eazi are joining a trend that started globally with stars like Ashton Kutcher, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams and Robert Downey Junior.
“If you look at the kind of products Nigerian celebrities are investing in, they are mainly consumer products which benefit from the celebrity’s star power and ability to drive publicity, awareness and reach potential customers using social media.”
He said celebrities have turned a new leaf and looked past just becoming ambassadors for companies to investing in the things that they love.
"In the past, brands paid these celebrities fees for brand ambassadorship but the new crop of celebrities we see are aligning with companies that fit their personas and align with their passions." Ifeanyi Abraham said.
Here are 4 whys celebrities can invest in tech businesses:
1. Celebrities can latch on to a trend
Everybody loves a smart phone and Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade took advantage for this cellular craze to create a phone swapping trend.
Nobody knows him as Tosin, but when you hear “Zagadat” and see a straw hat, you will know that its Mr Eazi.
He is currently signed to Wizkid’s Starboy Worldwide record label.
In all his musical glory, Mr. Eazi has co-founded 2 tech startups, first it was Obiwezy which was launched in 2014, a company that was listed among 10 of the startups in 2015, but unfortunately, due to certain issues between both co-founders, they decided to dissolve the partnership.
Mr Eazi in his entrepreneurial restlessness co-founded another tech startup called phonetrader.ng in September 2015.
Phonetrader.ng, in partnership with Airtel, sells top quality used smartphones, and offer trade-ins/swaps for customers.
The company has a staff strength of 12 including tech support, marketing, sales, engineering and dispatch.
They have sold, repaired, and swapped over 200 smartphones since September 2015.
2. Celebrities can help build structures
In every advanced society, access to internet is not a luxury, it is a necessity, in bridging the gap of this ‘necessity', Mavin Records CEO Don Jazzy and Dele Odufuye CEO of Tsaboin launched Flobyt WiFi as co-founders.
Flobyt is a free WiFi service installed across partner locations in Lagos like eateries, parks, taxis, buses, restaurants, cafés and many other businesses.
The idea is to walk into a partner outlet, patronize them and use the internet without restrictions.
(Did you think Don Jazzy is always on Twitter because he is jobless? Nahhhhhhh.... he is building his brand and networking).
As far back as 1998, ElDee the Don, was a key member of the defunct Trybesmen rap group; one of the pioneer rap groups in Nigeria.
Over the years, he has worn many caps as a producer, songwriter and record label executive, but quit the music scene to concentrate on Playdata.
The rapper, who also writes codes, started Playdata as an analytical tech solution designed for musicians and advertisers to accurately track audio broadcasts in an efficient, reliable, and transparent way.
Playdata solves the current problem that comes with not knowing exactly how many times a song or campaign jingle has played on radio, and caters for everyone in the music value chain.
3. Celebrities can help solve problems
Ubi Franklin wants his clothes washed at his own convenience, so he started an online laundry service called ‘Instant Pick Up’.
The artiste-manager/record label executive of Made Men Music Group decided to solve a problem that is common in a city where the tempo moves almost at the speed of light.
Workers are always trying to meet tight deadlines and really have no time to wash their clothes.
“The Instant Pick Up app, would not be just an everyday pick up app, this is what will guaranty quality and excellent on-time pick up delivery of laundry, catering for a wide population of Nigeria from across various demographics.” He said about the app.
4. Celebrities can join a tech workforce and make a difference
Ajebutter22 has been making hits, on a low key, with songs like “Omo Pastor”, “Serenre” and “Bad Gang”.
Ajebutter22 is a Petroleum Engineering graduate from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom with a Masters Degree in Engineering Project Management.
Unlike most Nigerian artistes, Ajebutter22 drops his song at intervals because his techie part is unleashed during the day time to occupy his daily grind.
He is a marketing and business strategist at global IT company, Cisco.
Before joining Cisco, he was at Gamsole, a Nigerian-born mobile game production company.
Next time you hear their tracks or spot them in a mall, remember they are more than just screen kings and queens; they are entrepreneurs who have a stake in the future. You better join in...