They’ve called him Big L’why, Big Silly, Big Money, Big Billy in Hip-Hop for years — and now, Silicon Valley can call LL COOL J that, too.
In a press release announcement, it was revealed that Rock The Bells — a direct-to-consumer online store for Hip-Hop culture merchandise, which has mushroomed into a multimedia brand name that includes LL COOL J’s Rock The Bells Radio on SiriusXM Channel 43 — acquired $8 million in a Series A funding round.
The funding round was led by Raine Ventures — who has invested in Barn2Door, Knock Knock, and IRL in the past.
“It’s an honor to be supported by such a distinguished group of investors,” said LL COOL J, CEO and co-founder of Rock The Bells, in the press release announcement. “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.”
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), Redpoint Ventures, Glenn Hutchins, and Harris Barton Asset Management also participated in the round.
And rounding out the Rock The Bells Series A funding round are Paul Rosenberg, the CEO of Shady Records, and NBA legend-turned-Silicon Valley investor Andre Iguodala.
Existing investors include music industry mogul Irving Azoff, billionaire Mark Cuban, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Egon Durban, Michael Kassan, actor Chris O’Donnell, Greg Maffei, Piedmont Capital Partners, among others, with pioneering investor Geoff Yang as co-founder and Chairman.
Rock The Bells also named 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, to its board of directors.