10K80 by August Prum February 12, 2018
Chamillionaire of “Ridin'” fame has become a heady and strategic investor over the last decade. The Houston rapper, whose real name is Hakeem Seriki, has successful investments in his portfolio as well as his own company that he hopes to bring to the masses.
Seriki, who is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Los Angeles-based investment firm Upfront Ventures, was an early investor in Maker Studios, an original content production house. Disney purchased Maker for $500 million in 2014.
Disney CEO Robert Iger said of the acquisition:
“Short-form online video is growing at an astonishing pace and with Maker Studios, Disney will now be at the center of this dynamic industry with an unmatched combination of advanced technology and programming expertise and capabilities.”
Another of Seriki’s investments includes Cruise, a self-driving automation tech company, that was purchased by GM for over $1 billion in 2016. Cruise’s features include a kit in which users can convert their cars to include self-driving technology.
Fortune described the company’s ‘end game’:
“A network of self-driving cars within Lyft’s service that can shuttle passengers around town without a driver. GM is also developing a car-sharing service, joining a growing list of major automakers pushing into new businesses to attract customers who don’t own vehicles. The new business division called Maven will combine and expand several of GM’s existing test programs under one brand.”
GM bought the company in part to use Cruise’s self-driving technology on their own cars.
It’s clear that Seriki has an eye for an investment, but he’s also working on his own company. Recently at the Upfront Summit in Los Angeles, Seriki unveiled Convoz, a new social media platform where fans and celebrities can communicate face-to-face via their phones.
He told Tech Crunch he wants Convoz to be “the place where you go to talk to people.”
Seriki further told the tech publication that dissatisfaction with other social media platforms led to his desire to create a more controlled environment between fans and celebrities.
The Houston rapper turned investor explained that he was dissatisfied with Twitter and other social media platforms, “I just wasn’t happy with the communication channels that are currently existing on social media.”
With Convoz, fans will have more intimate and authentic interactions with their favorite celebrities, who will have more control of who they interact with. In this way, everyone benefits.
Tech Crunch reported on Chamillionaire’s goal with the app.
“[Seriki] hopes that users will be less likely to bully or harass others when they show their face and aren’t hiding behind an anonymous digital persona. And unlike Twitter, where everyone can see people’s mentions, Convoz users are able to approve what’s being said about them publicly. It ‘gives the curator of the conversation some level of control.'”
Seriki has turned his very respectable bread from his music career into a constant stream of revenue from a diverse and reputable set of investments.
Not only is Seriki killing the financial and tech game, he’s putting on for his community as well, helping raise funds for Houston after Hurricane Harvey and helping a man deported by ICE officials.
Shout out Chamillionaire for doing the most.