LL Cool J is planning a significant expansion of his Rock The Bells direct-to-consumer business. The actor and rapper has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round for Rock The Bells, led by Raine Ventures. Rock The Bells was founded in 2018 as a content and commerce brand dedicated to classic hip-hop (the name is based on LL Cool J’s third single off his debut album Radio, released in 1985). With the new round the company plans to invest further in its direct-to-consumer business, particularly in the content, commerce, and experiences spaces. It will also build out is executive team. “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,” LL Cool J said in a statement announcing the funding round.
Other investors in the round include venture capital firm M13, Willoughby Capital Holdings (the family office of billionaire Daniel Och) and Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang. Rock The Bells’ current investors include Irving Azoff, Mark Cuban, Egon Durban and Henry Louis Gates Jr. Alongside the funding round, the company said that Raine Ventures managing partner Gordon Rubenstein, LL COOL J Inc. COO Claudine Joseph, and Thai Randolph, president and COO of Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud, will join its board.