Hip-hop brand Rock The Bells has raised $8 million in Series A funding. Raine Ventures led the round.
LOS ANGELES — April 8, 2021 — Rock The Bells, LL COOL J’s global direct-to-consumer brand that serves as the preeminent voice for classic and timeless Hip-Hop, today announced $8M in Series A funding led by Raine Ventures. Additional investors in the round include M13, Willoughby Capital Holdings, Workday Co-CEO Aneel Bhusri, Jerry Yang (founding partner of AME Cloud Ventures & co-founder of Yahoo!), and Charles Phillips (Managing Partner of Recognize and former President of Oracle). Existing investors who participated in this round include Redpoint Ventures, Glenn Hutchins, and Harris Barton Asset Management.
In addition to venture capitalists, Paul Rosenberg, President of Shady Records and CEO of Goliath Artists and Goliath Records, and 3x NBA Champion Andre Iguodala participated in the round.
This round of funding will further fuel Rock The Bells’ ability to provide multi-platform content, commerce and experiences for fans of classic Hip-Hop that elevate the trailblazing icons of the culture. The investment will also allow the company to continue to build out a diverse and experienced leadership team to drive this next phase of growth.
“It’s a honor to be supported by such a distinguished group of investors,” said LL COOL J, CEO and founder of Rock The Bells. “This funding will help us accelerate our growth and team-building efforts to make sure we can further uplift the people and culture at the forefront of Hip-Hop through exciting e-commerce collaborations, storytelling, and experiences.”
As part of this announcement, Gordon Rubenstein, Managing Partner of Raine Ventures, Claudine Joseph, Chief Operating Officer of LL COOL J Inc, and Thai Randolph, President & Chief Operating Officer at Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud, join Rock The Bells’ Board of Directors.
“We strive to work with today’s most forward-thinking leaders,” said Gordon Rubenstein, Managing Partner of Raine Ventures. “LL COOL J is one of the most legendary pioneers of classic Hip-Hop. His vision and expertise combined with a team of experienced and passionate music, entertainment, and tech executives will further allow Rock The Bells to connect Hip-Hop’s rich history to the present with a multi-platform approach.”
The announcement follows the appointment of former BET executive James Cuthbert as President to oversee the growth of the company earlier this year. In June, the company extended the brand beyond its successful SiriusXM radio channel with the launch of a new multi-platform destination dedicated to celebrating, honoring, and preserving timeless and classic Hip-Hop through a modern lens.
Existing investors include Irving Azoff, Mark Cuban, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Egon Durban, Michael Kassan, Chris O’Donnell, Greg Maffei, Piedmont Capital Partners, among others, with pioneering investor Geoff Yang as co-founder and Chairman.
ABOUT ROCK THE BELLS
Rock The Bells is the preeminent voice for classic and timeless Hip-Hop. Founded in 2018 by LL COOL J Rock The Bells focuses on content, commerce and experiences that honor the CULTURE and the core elements of Hip-Hop — MC’s, DJ’s, Breakers, Graffiti Artists — and more. Rock The Bells is the bridge between OG’s and those inspired by their groundbreaking influences on the culture. Visit us at www.rockthebells.com , stream LL COOL J’s Rock The Bells Radio on SiriusXM Channel 43 and follow us @RockTheBells – keep it locked.