In a pre-Series B round, the South African gaming startup company, Carry1st, managed to secure hundreds of millions of rands in funds. The group said that it will use the money to develop, license and launch new titles and expand its brand.
The company closed on $27 million (close to R500 million). The money will also be used to expand its Pay1st brand.
Carry1st is well known across the African continent for providing social games and interactive content for multiple platforms. The company was launched in 2018 by three industry pioneers – Cordel Robbin-Coker, Lucy Hoffman and Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu. It started off as a game studio that developed and launched mobile titles.
Carry1st develops and published proprietary games, while also connecting local gaming studios with international brands. Carry1st’s services include customer acquisition, distribution, licensing and others, while also licensing third-party games exclusively.
Last year, Carry1st entered into an important collaboration with the developer and games publisher, Riot Games. The latter is known for its world-renowned League of Legends PC game. Under the terms of the agreement, Carry1st will pilot local payments for Riot Games from this year. As such, Carry1st will act as Riot Games’ payment partner, using its monetization-as-a-service platform, Pay1st.
Part of the funding will be used to expand Pay1st which allows it to generate revenue from third-party and proprietary games.
“The partnership with Riot Games is our big initiative this year because we built all this cool tech around payments and digital commerce, and we leveraged it only for our games,” said Cordel Robbin-Coker, who hinted at a “large game licensing deal” with another company.
The collaboration with Riot Games is not Carry1st’s first big deal. It already has in place a successful partnership with Call of Duty. Carry1st directed the giant video games franchise how to expand in South Africa.