Carry1st, the South African games publisher, has secured $20 million Series A extension led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). This is a16z’s first investment in an African-headquartered startup.

The funding round was joined by Avenir and Google along with angel investors including Grammy winner and crypto investor Nas, and founders of Chipper Cash, Sky Mavis, and Yield Guild Games.

Investors from Carry1st Series A $6 million joined the extension round again, namely Riot Games, Konvoy Ventures, Raine Ventures, and TTV Capital. This brings the total Series A raised so far to $26 million.

As part of the investment, a16z partners David Haber and Jonathan Lai will join the board of Carry1st.

The startup intends to acquire more users by expanding into game co-development with studios. It is also looking at the possibility of developing infrastructure to support play-to-earn gaming in Africa, thus venturing into web3.

Founded in 2018 by Cordell Robbin-Coker, Lucy Hoffman, and Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu, Carry1st is a full-stack publisher of social games and interactive content with a focus on frontier markets like Africa.

It partners with mobile games studios and content owners around the world to enable them to launch their content profitably in the region. and has developed a payments platform which allows users to purchase games using their preferred method of payment, and a marketplace for digital products.

Besides the game studios, it has partnered with online payments provider PayPal and Chipper Cash to allow users pay for digital services like Tinder subscriptions, mobile data, and gaming currency.

“We’re excited to partner with this world-class group of investors who, in addition to capital, bring expertise across gaming, fintech, and web3,” said Cordel Robbin-Coker, Carry1st’s CEO and co-founder.

“In 2021 we launched multiple games and digital commerce solutions achieving really strong growth. Together we can accelerate this growth and achieve our goal of becoming the leading consumer internet company in the region.”

Since launching its game publishing platform last May, Carry1st claims it has grown by over 90% month-over-month.

“Our team nearly doubled in 2021 in order to support and build on the growth. This funding from some of the world’s most renowned investors will allow us to take the next step forward”, Robbin-Coker added.

Andreessen Horowitz general partner David Haber said the firm was “delighted to be making our first investment in an Africa-headquartered company” in the mobile games and fintech platform.

“We see immense opportunity for the company to mirror outstanding successes we’ve seen in markets like India, China, and Southeast Asia. We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with founders Cordel, Lucy, Tino, and the Carry1st team on their mission to build the Garena of Africa.”

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