From Athlete To Businessman: Kobe Bryant Invests $100 Million To Tech, Media And Data Companies
Life after basketball? Following former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Shaquille O'Neal, here's another athlete entering the world of business.
Retired NBA legend and Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, together with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel, revealed his venture capital fund of $100 million to be invested mostly on tech, media and data companies.
The unlikely pair, who was introduced by a common friend, named their firm Bryant Stibel which will be based on Los Angeles.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the tandem said they balance each other. Stibel contributes to the technical side of the business with his wide experience while Bryant brings in his creativity in marketing, branding and design.
Bryant even designed their company logo inspired by the idea of piano keys.
The 38-year old former NBA Star is also known for his close engagement with fans especially through social media.
Stibel, however explained that the venture is not to exploit Bryant's popularity.
"We don't want to be in the business of investing in companies so someone can use Kobe as an endorser. That's not interesting. The point is to add real value," Stibel said in the interview
Currently their investments include RingDNA (telemarketing-software company), Scopely (videogame designer) The Players Tribune, (sports news online site) LegalZoom (legal services firm) and Juicero (home-juicing company)
To date Bryant may be considered the athlete with highest investment in business.
Bryant also spoke on his ability to 'spot' good entrepreneurs with proper work ethics.
"Sometimes you can spot it right away, other times not so much,"
"It's the inner belief that a person has that he will endure no matter what the obstacle may be. It's that persistence, the entrepreneur doing what he or she truly believes in and truly loves to do." he added.
Active NBA players also involved in business startups, according to Techcrunch, include include New York Knick's Carmelo Anthony and Golden State Warrior's Steph Curry.
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