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May 25, 2022, 11:00 ET
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Game-changing VC backed by Hollywood’s hottest new studio throws its weight behind Africa’s first blockchain-based entertainment platform
NEW YORK, May 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — MaC Venture Capital – an LA-based seed-stage VC that invests in visionary founders – has just closed out the $5.6 Million Seed round of African startup AMP Global Technologies, with a healthy $2 Million investment. MaC is affiliated with the entertainment juggernaut MACRO, which has garnered 15 Oscar nominations and 3 wins since its inception in 2015.
AMP Global’s Ghana-born, Harvard-educated founder and CEO, Derrick N. Ashong, created the company’s Take Back the Mic (TBTM) platform, powered by an Ethereum-compatible blockchain, to reward fans and creators for building movements around great content. Fans earn points on the platform that they can exchange for a digital currency that buys them mobile data. Africa has the world’s highest mobile data prices, making it more difficult and expensive for young people to get online.
As a proof of concept for the company’s technology, Ashong leveraged his background working for the biggest names in entertainment, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and ABC-Disney, to create an original interactive content property that rewarded fans and artists for using the TBTM platform to cast the show. The web series became a back-to-back Emmy finalist for "Outstanding Interactive Program."
Ashong then turned this initial success into a full-scale mobile video service on his native continent of Africa. Cast and curated by Take Back the Mic (TBTM) users, The Mic: Africa interactive TV series defied the Covid pandemic in its inaugural season, shooting simultaneously in six countries with local filmmakers and winning 2021 Gold & Silver Telly Awards, opposite Netflix, HBO and Disney+. Season 2 added Ethiopia, Morocco, Senegal and Tanzania to the original six countries of Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa, and expanded its broadcast reach from nine to 20+ countries, while also streaming on the TBTM mobile platform. AMP Global Technologies went on to win a Murex D’Or award in March 2022 for International Innovative Media at the "Oscars of the Middle East and North Africa."
"MaC was literally our number one choice, so getting this vote of confidence from them means the world," said Ashong. "[MaC Managing General Partner] Marlon Nichols’ impact on Silicon Valley cannot be overstated, while [General Partner] Charles D. King’s influence in Hollywood needs no introduction. As a company squarely at the nexus of Technology and Entertainment, we’re honored and excited to get to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our role models."
Of his decision to spearhead MaC’s investment in AMP Global Technologies, Nichols said, "The decision to partner with AMP Global Technologies was a simple one. AMP is a unique platform that not only leverages blockchain technology to incentivize users to access and engage with award winning content via its play-to-earn model, but it also champions and provides monetization opportunities for creators, distribution partners, and global brands. I’m proud to work alongside a team that focuses on the mutually beneficial relationship between technology, culture and entertainment."
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