What Do Snoop Dogg, Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel Have in Common? Reddit, Y'all.
Snoop Dogg. Snoop Doggy Dogg. Snoop Lion. DJ Snoopadelic. Snoopzilla. Whatever you call Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr., you can now also call the pot-puffing convicted felon and former pimp co-owner of Reddit.
The 42-year-old rap icon recently threw some serious paper at the viral news hub as part of a $50 million injection of venture capital. The exact amount Snoop pitched in isn’t public, but it probably wasn’t chump change.
Fundraising for reddit http://t.co/gQxG0R5qt6— reddit (@reddit) September 30, 2014
Reddit, a user-generated social platform, which loftily bills itself as “the front page of the internet,” spilled the big money news on its blog yesterday. The Doggfather’s name appears (as plain, old Snoop Dogg, not as his latest reggae persona Snoop Lion) second to last in the announcement’s extended namedrop of investors, which includes some of Silicon Valley’s most famous and deepest pocketed tech elite. Among them are lead funder Sam Altman, president of the seed-stage venture capital firm Y Combinator (which provided Reddit its initial funding nine years ago), Peter Thiel, co-founder and former CEO of PayPal, Marc Andreessen, outspoken venture capitalist and Internet pioneer, Mariam Naficy, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Minted.com, Ron Conway, veteran “super angel” investor and Paul Buchheit, Xoogler and Gmail creator.
Reddit CEO Yishan Wong, formerly of PayPal and Facebook, also kicked in on the massive round, as did Academy Award-winning TV/film/rock god and budding tech investor Jared Leto. This isn’t the first time Snoop and Leto staked claims in the same digital venture. A week ago, the millionaire "celebpreneurs" both invested in a new Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz backed zero-commission stock trading app called Robinhood.
Of course there’s a bleeding edge Bitcoin angle to Reddit’s star-studded payday. The popular San Francisco-based startup, known for its juicy, celebrity tell-all “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) threads, partnered with crypto-payment processor Coinbase last year to accept Bitcoin for “Reddit Gold” purchases. Now, per Wong’s somewhat vague comment on the company’s blog yesterday, Reddit is “thinking about creating a cryptocurrency and making it exchangeable (backed) by those shares of reddit, and then distributing the currency to the community.” According to CoinDesk, Reddit would allot 10 percent of the total raised in the round to build a digital currency to “give back” to its thriving redditor community, once home to a Bitcoin tip-funded virtual strip club subreddit called r/GirlsGoneBitcoin.
Don’t get too excited for a possible Redditcoin or a SnoopDogecoin (or whatever) yet. A bold, all-caps caveat at the top of Wong’s comment reads: “KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS PLAN COULD TOTALLY FAIL.”
By proxy, Reddit’s early stage plan boosts Snoop’s barely budding crypto cred. The hip hop superstar whipped up a stir in the Bitcoin community last December when he tweeted that his next record would be “available in Bitcoin and delivered by drone.” Coinbase chomped at the tweet, offering to hook him up. Snoop tweeted back, expressing that he’d like to “make it happen.” It hasn’t yet. Coinbase told Entrepreneur.com today that there is no deal in place at the moment. Entrepreneur-rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson beat Snoop to it last June with an assist from BitPay, allowing his fans to buy his latest album with the cryptocash.
@coinbase dm your info. I want to make it happen.— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) December 9, 2013
Related: Holy Cow: Bill Gates Plays Secret Santa in Reddit Christmas Miracle
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.