With live events greatly stalled, the pandemic era has been rich with Hollywood movers and shakers putting their money in promising startups across tech, livestreaming, and social networking. Justin Bieber and J Balvin joined manager Scooter Braun as investors in mixed-reality concert developer Wave; the Chainsmokers and Snoop Dogg were among a vaulted investor class for TikTok collab marketplace Pearpop.
In the latest Mad Libs-style celebrity investment in an unexpected product, Bhad Bhabie and Lil Yachty — who recently launched a fund together called Scoop Investments, led by the two rappers, their manager Adam Kluger, and three other executives — are investing in Lox Club, a dating app for “Jews with ridiculously high standards,” the team tells Rolling Stone.
Lox Club’s developers describe their app as “a virtual speakeasy hidden within an old-school deli.” Rather than relying primarily on algorithms, like Tinder or Bumble do, Lox Club, which launched toward the end of 2020, gives its users actual human match-makers.
Scoop’s investment in Lox Club is its first deal, and it exceeds seven figures, Kluger tells Rolling Stone.
“J-Date screams desperation, J-Swipe is just a piece of shit. There’s a real gap in the marketplace,” Kluger says. “I was just so surprised at how cool it was. Yachty and Bhabie saw the passion when I was talking about and everyone started asking me questions. Eventually I said we should come together and do it as a group.”
Kluger had heard about Lox Club through a few friends who encouraged him to download what they described as “Raya for Jewish people,” referring to the exclusive and celebrity-populated dating app Raya. He was quickly impressed and met with Lox Club CEO Austin Kevitch. Kluger was originally going to invest alone, but after his clients Lil Yachty and Bhad Bhabie heard him talking about the app, they decided to invest together — so Scoop Investments was born specifically out of the group’s interest in Lox Club, rather than set up as a general fund that would identify companies later on.
Scoop Investments is the first dip into venture capital for Kluger and his clients, but Kluger has been brokering deals for clients for years. He started managing Bhad Bhabie after she went viral on Dr. Phil as the “Cash Me Outside Girl,” and helped her pivot to a rap career. He started working with Yachty a year and a half ago, helping Yachty transform from musician into mogul, securing partnerships with companies like General Mills and Burger King while also launching his own nail polish line, among other business ventures.
Bhabie, who is half-Jewish, will potentially participate in the marketing for Lox Club with a fun commercial appearance or some sort of viral moment, and Yachty might also show up at some Lox Club launch party events — but the details aren’t finalized yet. In early press materials, Lox Club describes itself as “like a deli: culturally Jewish, but you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy it,” and as an app that “values authentic, well-rounded people with ambitious dreams and careers, who can make you both think and laugh, regardless of their Instagram following.”
While the fund is kicking things off with Lox Club, the team hopes to close investments on two or three more companies by the end of 2021. Kluger says the fund will remain neutral on which industries it will invest in, focusing instead on specific companies where it can add strategic value.
“Everyone in the fund, between myself, Bhabie, Yachty and a few others — at least two people have to be able to add value to a company,” Kluger says. “In this case, Lox Club, it’s mostly me. I have the expertise in space, I’m going to be the value-add here. The next company may be Yachty, it might be something that’s more design-driven or apparel-driven. Or it might be something more cosmetic-driven, where Bhad Bhabie would have more of a strategic value. We’re looking for opportunities that are financially sound, but we also need to make sure that at least two members of our group could really quarterback an investment and add value.”