Jay-Z is continuing to show that his business mindset and influence reaches far beyond the music industry. Making good on his promise to tackle the issues of America’s bail industry, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation has teamed up with other investors to raise $3 Million for a bail reform startup Promise.
Promise, which was co-founded by entrepreneurs Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and Diana Frappier, debuted on March 20th, at the Y Combinator Demo Day. Other startups that have been featured and funded by Y Combinator include Dropbox, Airbnb, Reddit, and Stripe. Kapor Capital, 8VC, First Round Capital and Adelfos were also investors in the startup.
“We are increasingly alarmed by the injustice in our criminal justice system,” stated Shawn ‘JAY-Z’ Carter. “Money, time and lives are wasted with the current policies. It’s time for an innovative and progressive technology that offers sustainable solutions to tough problems. Promise’s team, led by Phaedra, is building an app that can help provide ‘liberty and justice for all’ to millions.”
Promise will offer cost-effective alternatives to incarcerating low-risk offenders for not being able to afford bail. Promise will provide counties with intake procedure and set up participants with care plans that specifically cater to them, while monitoring and supporting them and helping remind them of obligations such as court appearances, treatment and drug testing as needed. On top of that, the startup will also help participants by providing access to referrals, housing, counseling, and job training.
“We thank JAY-Z and the entire Roc Nation family for recognizing the life changing capabilities of Promise,” said Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Founder and CEO of Promise. “We are thrilled to have First Round Capital, Roc Nation, Y Combinator, Kapor Capital, 8VC and Adelfos as our partners, but more importantly we are committed to building a company that gives government a solution to work towards a more humane system.”
With a respected company like Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, as well as other influential investors, backing the startup, Promise has the potential to grow into a successful company. Not only that, but the startup also has the potential save lives and help bring much needed reform to the bail industry. Considering Jay-Z’s track record for great business decisions and social activism, it comes as no surprise that Promise’s potential caught the mogul’s eye.