Basketball stars are getting busy off-court these days as ace investors. We look at cherry-picked NBA players who are sharper than most VCs, having invested lofty sums into successful startups.
Silicon Valley has been seeing an influx of investors from the NBA for years now. The trend has been gaining momentum over time. Most NBA players think that this is an excellent opportunity for people of color to foray into the business world and create wealth. Athletes are great influencers and can pick the right functional products to invest in. They also have a vast network of followers – who better than themselves to talk about their products, making it more genuine than ever.
Adam Eaton, Kevin Durant, and Kyle Lowry are a few others that have teamed up with portfolio companies and tech giants like Intel.
Watch: Why do NBA stars turn to Tech Startups for investment?
Sharpest National Basketball Association (NBA) Venture Capitalists with successful startup investments:
Carmelo Anthony is currently plying his trade at Houston Rockets. Melo recently co-founded and partnered with Stuart Goldfarb and formed Melo7 Tech Partners LLC, specializing in technology, consumer internet, and startup digital media ventures. Dozens of investments in startups like Hullabaloo, Lyft, and Casper are a part of the portfolio.
Stephen Curry, an investor, entrepreneur, and Warriors player, has ventured into the investment world. However, Stephen has a stake in Pinterest and has made investments in startups like Brandless, TeamSoloMid, and a few others. Curry and Iguodala also paired to invest in “Launch,” an intersection of sports and venture capital.
With his business partner Rudy Cline-Thomas, NBA star Andre Iguodala has stakes in various startups like NerdWallet, Taft, Casper, and many others. There is news that the pair have decided to invest with the venture heavyweight, Andreessen Horowitz.
Russell Westbrook invested over $60 million in Varo, a digital bank. Varo aims to remove the inequality of income and has invested in Flow, an alkaline water company. Late Stage Venture, Private Equity, Venture, and Convertible Note, are a few investment stages that Russell Westbrook Enterprises Inc. has invested in.
Draymond Green, a Warriors player, has invested in a series of companies like Rumble Boxing, Smile Direct Club, James’ Uninterrupted, and a few others. Green aspires to be a billionaire by the age of 40 and intends to do so with networking, intelligent investments, and checking on the expenditure.
The scenario has changed the scene for people of color and the culture altogether. Ranging from fast-food empire to technology ventures, these athletes have ventured into a variety of businesses. Creating their table and opening doors for people of color into the business world are the other goals, says the NBA stars who are leading venture capitalists. This change in the business world is sure to bring diversity inside the companies and bring about racial equality.
While it is common to hear companies going public with investors from various backgrounds, it has not led to many African-Americans foraying into it, which means dollars and going into the same pockets. Over the last few years, the athlete investors have changed the scenario in a positive direction. However, it is essential to understand for the investors of Silicon Valley is to understand that investing is risky and may not always result in ROI.