Ray J says he is bridging the gap between music and technology.
Venture Into Technology
The “One Wish” singer and entrepreneur had a launch pad in acting and music, which has allowed him to transcend into other areas of business. In 2016, he made his first foray into technology, debuting an e-bike at an electronics show, according to Finurah.
Even though he feels that his technological footprint is frequently overshadowed by controversial news about him, Ray J says he remains committed to the sector and is seeing great success.
“I think most often they see us and see me, and it’s just about either fun, or it’s controversially entertaining, and I’m good with that too,” Ray J told AFROTECH. “I think me being inserted in some of these rooms, they really don’t know how big some of the things that we’re doing is, and how groundbreaking it is, and how hard it is to like you know sell hardware or electric transportation and overcome the obstacles and actually like lead the pack in different arenas.”
Ray J is leading by example. His ‘Scoot-E’ brand, launched by his electronics company Raytroniks, gained celebrity backing from his sister, Brandy Norwood, as well as Snoop Dogg and Stephen Curry, among others, which helped the company reach more consumers in the United States, Venture Beat reports.
At the time, the electric vehicle could reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour and cover distances of up to 30 miles on a single battery charge, per Taste of Reality. It also boasted features such as Bluetooth and a USB charger.
Why The Acquisition Of 'Scoot-E' Brand Was A Blessing
After three years of breaking ground, the “Scoot-E” brand was acquired by LOOPShare, a micro mobility and ride-sharing company, for a reported ” high seven figure” deal, People stated.
Ray J describes the acquisition as “the biggest blessing.”
“It was an interesting deal,” Ray J told AFROTECH. “It was right before the pandemic, we sold it to a company called LOOPShare, out of Canada. Really good guys and they had their own way of thinking about the name, the structure, and putting it in the bike sharing world. So we needed them to come in and buy us out in a time where the bike sharing industry was killing retail.”
He added, “It was probably one of the biggest blessing that that happened for me at the time because we were starting to look a little negative in the future for the company. So thank you, God, and thank you, LOOPShare.”
Applying Lessons To New Venture
Ray J applied some of his business lessons from the venture to his next line up of products. He mentioned to AFROTECH that the bike product had sold for a retail price of $1,200, and he was looking to adopt a new approach for his future businesses by selling more affordable products, still without sacrificing quality.
He relied on Raycon, which he co-founded in 2017, to bring a cost-friendly line of earbuds to market at a price point of $79.99.
The company currently also sells speakers, headphones, and home technologies, including a portable vacuum and portable air filter.
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“[With the Scoot-E Bike] I had rental stores all over too, and we were doing well, but I learned and now start to listen to another way to do it. I still use my marketing templates, but make sure that we have a product that’s affordable with a lot of high quality that people can really enjoy,” Ray J said to AFROTECH.
“So we did 13 SKUs for Raycon, everything from speakers to over-the-ear headphones, and then the earbuds really took off at a time where the [Apple] Air Pods wasn’t even like super big yet. So we were able to sell them for $79.99, which was half the price or more of the competition. And with the right ads and our CMO, Rahman Khan, he delivered for us in a crazy way.”
Success Of Raycon
Ray J added, “We went from being an $8 million a year company to $40 million, and you know we’re holding around $80 million every year. I think we can diversify and bring the culture in a little more.”
Digital Network On The Way
Ray J is set to continue pushing forward with his empire as he also reveals a digital network is in the works, and he promises to deliver top-of-the-line content.
“It’s just another milestone for us to just do a lot of business on, but Raycon is booming. The network, we have the best content coming,” he explained.