Musician-actor-reality-TV star-tech entrepreneur William “Ray J” Norwood Jr. has secured a $31 million deal to launch a new electronics transportation company, Raycon.
The deal was finalized between Ray J and Cowboy Wholesale, a leading New York City-based consumer electronics distributor. Ray J will have a full-time role in the newly formed partnership, overseeing marketing and global branding. The deal was paid in the form of equity and cash, according to a Raycon press release.
Ray J began his foray into tech entrepreneurship in 2015. As CEO of his own electronics brand, the Scoot-E-Bike, he popularized the foldable, two-wheeled electric vehicle. It was 100-percent powered by electricity and reached speeds of up to 20 mph with a 30-mile charge.
Raycon is the evolution of his business ventures, Ray J said in a prepared statement. It is a family of innovative, high-demand electronics designed and backed by celebrities that he says will address the everyday needs of the urban technophile, focusing on impactful electric transportation.
The product line seems shrouded in mystery. Not much information is available online about the Raycon family of electronics. The official product launch is scheduled for mid-November 2017. Raycon products will be available for purchase at rayconglobal.com.
“The world is moving towards renewable green energy, and electric transportation is a big part of that. With the Raycon movement, we are going to make sure we are one of the first ones there,” Ray J said in a press release.
Cowboy Wholesale’s management team and board of advisors have collectively sold $1 billion worth of consumer electronics, the company said in a statement. Members have past executive experience in companies including Sony, Coby Electronics, and Pepsi. Cowboy Wholesale is the exclusive distributor of Raycon products, and has agreed to market Raycon products through its global logistics and distribution channels, including the U.S., Asia, and Europe.
Raycon will have offices in New York, California, South America, and China.
Ray J grew the Scoot-E-Bike brand in part by securing celebrity endorsements. These included his sister (recording artist and actress Brandy Norwood), his first cousin (hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg), Sean Combs, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Stephen Curry, Carl Delevingne, and professional teams the L.A. Clippers and Los Angeles Rams.
Many people did not take Ray J seriously when he launched Scoot-E-Bike, Atlanta Black Star reported. Ray J said the vehicle was a new start.
“I finally now can transition from music and TV, something that I love to do but, you’re getting paid for your talent so you’re showing up and you’re getting paid to show up,” he told Black Enterprise. “At some point, you gotta branch out of that and start taking some money that you make and investing it in something that could be profitable, or take a loss, you know, whatever it is. It can’t be Groundhog Day in an entertainment world.”
Ray J loves to brag about a sex tape he made with former girlfriend Kim Kardashian, according to BET. He made the tape in 2003 and it became public in 2007. Kardashian sued Vivid Entertainment for ownership of the tape. In 2007, she dropped the suit and settled for $5 million.
“So much money in this (Raycon) deal, you would think Kris Jenner negotiated,” BET reported.
Kulture Hub describes Ray J as someone who has made countless “contributions to the culture that should not go understated”:
“As (hip-hop artist) Vince Staples pointed out in an interview on (Radio) Hot 97, Ray J has never taken an L. He goes on to list Ray J’s wild accomplishments including playing a role in the careers of The Game, Kanye West, the show “Moesha” (shout out to his sister Brandy), and that Ray J caused the (alleged) decline of Fabolous’ career. To sum it up he said, ‘Everything that we love is directly related to Ray J.’”