While the pandemic and recession continue to provide challenges for many entrepreneurs and investors, others view the landscape as an opportunity to further disrupt outdated models and underserved communities.
One of the most opportunistic investors during this recession has been Arabian Prince, a founding member of the iconic rap group N.W.A. Prince is not only accomplished as a music artist (both through N.W.A. and as a solo artist) but his over 20 plus years of investing has established him as one of entertainment’s most fierce and bold investors. His portfolio currently includes entertainment tech companies like Streoapp, a live streaming app from nightclubs, bars & festivals, and Advrtas, an AI (artificial intelligence) driven VR/AR/360 video ad platform.
Now, Prince is expanding into sectors like biotech with a major investment in Covitech, which provides solutions that help small and mid-sized companies respond to COVID-19, as with its PPE (personal protective equipment) Collective to purchase products at a volume discount. In our latest Fast FWD interview, Arabian Prince shares the motivations behind his investment in Covitech, why purpose-driven investments are a critical piece to his outlook on building his portfolio, and how being a superstar artist has informed his investment strategies and business savvy.
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You are one of the leading investors and founders of Covitech, an end-to-end platform to help small and medium-sized businesses manage COVID testing protocols as part of their return-to-work solutions. Can you give our readers some insight into how you got involved with Covitech?
I partnered with some business partners both in the tech and in the pharmaceutical space to create a company that gives resources to those who cannot get the same pricing as bigger companies mostly due to the lower quantities needed and also offer software solutions to help them get back to work safely.
In the Covitech release, you noted that you "want to bring better safety measures and appropriate responses to underserved and overlooked communities and businesses at a time when they desperately need a solution" to the COVID-19 return to work challenge. Can you give some more background into the challenges underserved communities are facing as the economy looks to reopen and how Covitech is helping create a more universal solution?
One of my main priorities is to help underserved communities, inner-city neighborhoods, small mom and pop establishments, and businesses. They have the hardest time getting PPE supplies, testing, and the resources they need during COVID- 19. If you really look at the backbone of our nation, it is made of millions of small businesses that run day today to keep our country going. We just want to support those that support our country.
You were also a founding member of N.W.A. What are some of the lessons you learned as an artist that you are applying to lead a technology healthcare company? Should other artists think about becoming advisors or investors in spaces like technology or healthcare?
I think a lot of artists, athletes, entertainers, etc, are interested and looking more at technology, healthcare, social good, and other verticals that have an impact on our communities and at the same time pushing the boundaries of what can be accomplished going forward.
You are also an investor and advisor to other companies as well. What are some of the other projects, companies, or brands you have your hands in?
I am working in the gaming and Esports space, creating hardware and also working and investing in the worldwide gaming ecosystem. I understand that millions of people play games around the world and I believe that this market will continue to grow and be profitable for decades to come.
In terms of Covitech, can you give us some insight into how you plan on scaling the technology to service the thousands of small to midsize businesses that will need your product?
We are working on a project called Health Q, which is a software platform that gives tools to businesses to help manage their plan to get back to work as well as manage their employees during Covid-19, this tool will be customizable and scalable depending on the needs of the business.
What are some of the goals you are looking to hit with the launch of Covitech?
Our goal is simply to take care of those who mostly never get taken care of, the businesses, the cities, the mom and pops, the inner cities, the communities that need help during this time, and have nowhere to turn, in this time of need, we just want to be the company that people can count on to help.