The tech sector is booming, and the trend of athletes investing in tech companies is catching up. Investing in sports tech is becoming a common venture for many athletes.
While this is not new, the industry has been growing rapidly in the past couple of years.
As more athletes begin to invest in tech, they are also becoming more involved in the space as brand ambassadors. Their investments in companies related to sports are generally focused on companies directly connected to the sports industry.
Many athletes are leveraging their experience and expertise to invest in sports-related technologies. These startups are working to disrupt many industries, including sports. Athletes are increasingly investing in technologies that improve their performance and make their lives easier.
These innovations could also open up new markets for sports fans. For example, Clear is a biometric secure identity platform that allows fans to upload selfies and store their personal information. It also verifies users’ identities using fingerprints.
Sports stars have also begun investing in early-stage and mid-stage tech startups. In fact, the LA Dodgers have launched an accelerator program that will focus on startups that fit into the intersection of sports and entertainment. The accelerator is in partnership with R/GA and aims to be a “future-forward” organization that seeks to lead the sports tech industry.
And here are some of the big names who have started investing in tech and are on a good path to more success:
Carmelo Anthony’s Tech Investments
Carmelo Anthony’s Tech Investments are part of his long-time interest in entrepreneurship and technology. His recent exposure to wearable devices has led him to make investments in a number of start-up technology companies.
One of his recent investments was in Hullabaloo, a children’s media company that creates digital children’s books. He also invested in the company’s May 2013 seed round. Other investors included Gary Vaynerchuk and Alexis Ohanian. Andreessen Horowitz, Spark Capital, Tumblr, and former NBA commissioner David Stern also participated in the funding round.
In addition to investing in the start-up company, Carmelo Anthony also spoke at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY event about his interest in technology. He said that he is interested in “pioneering” on and off the court. And, he said that he is “passionate” about investing in technology.
Carmelo Anthony’s Melo7 Tech Partners has invested in six technology startups so far.
Serena Williams’ Tech Investments
During her storied career on the tennis court, Serena Williams has been involved in several notable off-court deals. She has earned $94 million in career prize money and is a self-made GOAT (Greatest of All Time). But Williams is also a groundbreaker who has taken steps to empower others.
She has become a role model for many young dreamers. She has also been a big fan of investing in technology companies.
Williams is currently a partner at Serena Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund.
Serena Williams has been investing in tech companies for many years and has recently invested in Seattle-based startup Karat. Karat is an interview platform that helps businesses find and hire technical candidates.
Karat has a mission to double the number of software engineers of color in the U.S. and will use Serena Williams’ support to scale its Brilliant Black Minds program, which includes new curricula for aspiring black tech talent.
Serena Williams’ other tech investments include Tonal, an e-commerce platform for home gyms, and The Bumble Fund, which helps women of color get into the workplace. In March, Serena Williams’ venture capital firm announced it had raised $111 million to launch a new fund that will focus on diversity.
Serena Williams is also a member of Black Founders Matter.
Serena Ventures is also a partner with Omidyar Group’s Luminate Fund, as well as MaC Enterprise Capital, Cascador, and Carmelo Anthony’s Melo 7 Tech Partners.
Serena Williams’ venture capital firm has invested in more than 60 startups. In addition to focusing on diversity, Serena Ventures has also invested in startups that are mission-driven.
Serena Williams’ portfolio includes companies with a combined market cap of more than $1 billion.
LeBron James’ Tech Investments
In 2021, NBA superstar LeBron James invested in a sports technology company called StatusPro. The company is run by former NFL player Andrew Hawkins and Troy Jones, and it combines augmented reality with virtual reality to create fan engagement products.
The company also uses player data to create training products. It’s already attracted major players, such as Drake and Naomi Osaka.
LeBron is also investing in a fitness startup, Tonal, same as Serena Williams, and is a partner in the TV and movie production company SpringHill Entertainment.
SpringHill is currently working on a biopic about the early days of James. It also produced the hit Netflix docuseries “Naomi” and will release a remake of the 1990 comedy House Party. The company also did a remake of the 1990 film “Space Jam,” which was released in 2021.
LeBron is also a partner in Fenway Investment Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club. Fenway also owns 80% of the New England Sports Network. It has agreed to pay $900 million to add the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins to its sports portfolio.
LeBron is also an investor in a fast-growing pizza chain, Blaze Pizza. He also took equity in the ride-share giant Lyft.
LeBron is also investing in the crypto space. He’s invested in crypto startups through nonfungible tokens.
Kobe Bryant’s Tech Investments
During his career, Kobe Bryant earned over $330 million. After retiring from the NBA, he wished to build a legacy for himself by investing in tech.
He was an entrepreneur, athlete, and venture capitalist, and he wanted to leave a positive impact on Los Angeles. Now, the former basketball star has partnered with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel to form a new fund that will focus on technology and media companies.
The Kobe Bryant Tech Investments fund will invest in media companies, gaming startups, and data startups. The firm has made several investments, including Epic Games, BodyArmor, Cholula hot sauce, LegalZoom, and Tile. The fund will focus on companies with $1 billion-plus in valuation.
Bryant and Stibel started the venture capital firm in 2013 with a focus on technology companies. In addition to investing in tech companies, the firm provided consulting services to businesses. They also made a seed stage investment in the online education startup Vipkid of Beijing.
In addition to tech startups, they’ve invested in media companies, including The Players’ Tribune and Alibaba Group. They’ve also partnered with Permira in a $1.7 billion fund called Permira Growth Opportunities.
Bryant and Stibel have invested in companies that speak to their fund’s mission, including black-owned startups. According to CB Insights, only one percent of the founders of venture capital-backed companies are black. However, black-owned startups are located at the nexus of technology and media.
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