Jay-z’s venture capital firm close to finalizing $1 billion merger

BY Preta Peace Namasaba May 14, 2024 5:43 PM EDT
Black billionaires
Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter. Photo credit: Leon Bennett

Jay-Z‘s venture capital firm, Marcy Venture Partners is close to finalizing a $1 billion merger. According to a report by Bloomberg, the firm is engaged in advanced discussions to merge with the investment division of Pendulum Holdings. The combined entity would have over $1 billion in assets under management if the deal is finalized.

The pending merger would make Marcy Ventures a significant player in the venture capital landscape. The firm was founded in 2018 by Jay-Z, former Roc Nation CEO Jay Brown, and former Walden VC General Partner Larry Marcus. It is named after Brooklyn’s Marcy Projects, where the 24-time Grammy Award-winning rapper grew up. Marcy Venture Partners closed its debut fund in 2020 with $85 million and secured $325 million in its second funding round a year later. The firm was managing $600 million in assets at the time.

On a mission to build innovative businesses and mass-market brands, the firm focuses on investments spanning sustainability, inclusivity, empowerment, accessibility, and health and wellness. It has strategically invested in various companies such as Wheels, an electric transportation company, food tech company Hungry Marketplace, and Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie brand. Jay-Z, through Marcy Venture Partners, was an early investor in Uber and has stakes in SpaceX, Swedish oat milk brand Oatly, and non-fungible token marketplace Bitski.

Following the sale of half of his stake in Armand de Brignac champagne brand to LVMH for approximately $640 million in 2021, Jay-Z became hip-hop’s first billionaire. In 2023, he sold a majority stake in his cognac label D’Usse for a reported $750 million to Bacardi. Jay-Z also sold his majority stake in music streaming company Tidal to former Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey for $302 million. His wealth has since doubled to a net worth of $2.5 billion, making him one of the world’s richest celebrities.

On the other hand, Pendulum Holdings was founded by husband and wife Robbie and D’Rita Robinson in 2019. It has invested in companies such as Chinese food brand Fly by Jing, Founders Table Restaurant Group, and co-working and warehouse provider Saltbox. Robbie Robinson has previously worked as a financial adviser to Barack Obama. Although official statements from both parties are yet to be released, sources close to them state that the deal will soon be finalized. Jay-Z’s vision for elevating youth access and technological investment aligns well with Pendulum’s investment philosophy.

The merger, if successful could potentially reshape the venture capital landscape and solidify Marcy Venture Partners’ position as a major player in the industry. Integrating the resources and expertise of both firms is a recipe for groundbreaking ventures and the empowerment of emerging founders.