Founders: Lucy Hoffman, Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu and Cordel Robbin-Coker
Business: A mobile gaming publishing platform allowing gaming studios from around the world to overcome the obstacles preventing them from launching in Africa.
Carry1st was founded in 2018 by Cordel Robbin-Coker (CEO), Lucy Hoffman (COO), and Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu (CTO). The startup has signed publishing deals for seven games from a number of leading studios, including Sweden’s Raketspel, which has over 120 million downloads across its portfolio.
Driven by rapidly increasing technology adoption, Africa is the fastest-growing region for mobile game downloads. Despite this potential, international and regional studios face difficulties to profitably serve African consumers because of fragmented and unresolved distribution and digital payments ecosystems.
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Carry1st faces this challenge head-on by offering a full stack publishing solution that handles distribution, localisation, user acquisition, marketing, customer experience, and monetisation for its partners. Having recently partnered with online payments pioneers PayPal and Chipper Cash, Carry1st has made headway in resolving the issue of fragmented distribution and digital payment ecosystems in Africa to unlock the potential of the African mobile gaming market to international studios.
Thanks to the partnerships, consumers across Africa can now purchase digital essentials in the newly launched Carry1st Shop — from pre-paid electricity and mobile data, assets in their favourite games (like PUBG, ROBLOX, and SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off — which Carry1st recently launched in Africa), and subscriptions to platforms like Xbox Live, Tinder, and Uber.
Having raised a $20 million Series A extension this month led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), with participation from names such as Nas, Google, and Riot Games. Carry1st is excited for 2022 to expand its content portfolio; grow its product, engineering, and growth teams; and acquire new users.
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