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South African gaming startup, Carry1st, has closed USD 27 M in a pre-Series B round to develop, licence, publish new games, and expand Pay1st. Bitkraft Ventures led the round, with participation from a16z, Konvoy, TTV Capital, Alumni Ventures, Lateral Capital, and Kepple Ventures. The company will use the funds to develop, license, publish new games, and expand Pay1st.
Carry1st is a mobile games publisher serving the first generation of African smartphone users, which has so far reached millions of users across the region with games such as Mine Rescue and SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off. The startup has also launched a proprietary payment and online marketplace to better monetize content. The startup now develops and publishes its own games and connects local studios with international operators while handling customer acquisition, distribution, licensing, and monetization.