Getting to the bag is one thing, but having multiple bags to tap into takes it to another level. NBA player Thaddeus Young is a modern example of that elevation. Young is from Memphis, TN, and quickly rose as a breakout star in basketball in the city. After playing with Georgia Tech University, he would be drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers. Since entering the league in 2007, Young has spent most of his career with the 76ers, and played with other teams, including the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Brooklyn Nets. Young is currently playing for the Toronto Raptors. According to ESPN, Young joined the Toronto Raptors after signing a two-year deal in 2022. Spotrac reports that the deal was worth $16 million for two years, with $9 million guaranteed at signing. Now at this point in his career, the 34-year-old is impacting the court and using his wisdom to help guide younger players. A report from The Athletic describes Young as a main staple for the team. “Big time vet. Been in the...
Jun 16, 2023
LeBron James is betting on the biking industry. According to a press release provided to AfroTech, SC Holdings, and James’ LRMR Ventures, founded alongside Maverick Carter, have become new investors in Canyon Bicycles. “As an avid cyclist and storyteller, I’m excited about partnering with Canyon,” said Carter in a statement. “The quality of the products, the power of the Canyon brand, and the unique distribution model create a lot of compelling opportunities we want to be a part of.”
Jul 29, 2022
Kevin Durant has made a new investment to advance another area of sports. Bloomberg reports Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures was a part of an investment round led by The Chernin Group for the Premier Lacrosse League with participation from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Inc. Premier Lacrosse League founders, Paul and Mike Rabil have not disclosed exact valuations. However, the number has doubled since the company’s previous funding round in 2021.
Jul 21, 2022
Giannis Antetokounmpo is on the money! The NBA star joined as a strategic partner for a Series B investment round totaling $27 million for sports media startup Wave Sports + Entertainment, according to a press release. The seed round was led by private equity firm TZP Group. Crossbeam Venture Partners, GPS Investment Partners, Verance Capital, Nimble Ventures, existing investors and more also participated in the round. “WSE is leading the shift to creating digital superfans by engaging audiences where, when, and how they want to consume sports content,” said Shamit Mehta, Partner at TZP Growth Equity, according to a press release. “We believe athletes, leagues, and companies will have a new way to connect with younger audiences through WSE’s successful brands.”
Feb 25, 2022
Some of the world’s greatest women athletes are embarking on the investment arena. On a mission to inspire non-traditional investors, early-stage venture capital firm Debut Capital is launching its first-ever Investor-in-Residence Program for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous founders. The first cohort will include some notable names such as four-time Olympic Track & Field Gold Medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, three-time Track & Field Olympian Medalist Lauryn Williams, four-time All-Star, and WNBA Champion Chelsea Gray, and 2021 WNBA Champion Lexie Brown. The inaugural class will partake in a six-week program to learn from individuals in venture capital. According to the press release, topic points will include generating deal flow, portfolio construction, and post-investment support. The cohort will have access to an investment total of $100,000. Debut Capital’s class of professional women athletes is “a way to begin closing the gap between them and their male athlete counterparts.” “The...
Feb 10, 2022
Travelsist is where travel and technology collide! The travel tech company — founded by Veronica Woodruff — works to introduce concierge services and the gig economy to the airport ecosystem. Now, to continue in its mission, it can also celebrate as it’s received an investment of $250,000 from the Fearless Fund, the first venture capital fund built strictly by women of color for women of color. “Travelsist is perfectly positioned to capitalize on growing demand for personal on-demand services and the post-COVID air travel rebound,” said General Partner and Co-Founder of Fearless Fund, Arian Simone, in an official press release shared with AfroTech. “We have been amazed by Veronica’s business background and her vision, and Fearless Fund is thrilled to welcome Travelsist to our portfolio.”
Jan 25, 2022
George Acheampong is on a mission to create Black wealth. Over a decade ago, while Acheampong was working as the only Black advisor at his firm, he realized that the Black community needed to see someone who looked like them to feel empowered along their financial journey. He then geared up to launch a platform designed to make financial literacy accessible and affordable to Black communities. “People of color are worthy of wealth and they need to have a platform uniquely designed for their financial journey. I have been a financial advisor for 10 years and saw how little representation there was when I first started. I wanted to open doors and help people of color feel more confident about their finances,” George Acheampong told AfroTech.
Dec 29, 2021
Damilola Olokesusi — the founder of Shuttlers — has joined the small percentage of women who have received major funding from venture capital in Africa during 2021. After experiencing her own trouble securing transportation in Nigeria, Olokesusi would later become driven to find a solution to combat transportation insufficiencies. Her startup Shuttlers was created in 2016 to transport professionals and organizations from buses to work and combat the continent’s transportations costs in Lagos, Nigeria. Now, the company can further its mission with the help of a successful seed round totaling $1.6 million from investors housed in Nigeria and beyond, TechCrunch reports. The round was led by VestedWorld, a venture capital firm based in Chicago, IL, and Africa. Other investors included Rising Tide Africa, Launch Africa, EchoVC, Consonance Investment, CcHub Syndicate, CMC 21 & Alsa, ShEquity, Five35, Sakore and Nikky Taurus. Olokesusi acknowledges the interest for these investors was due...
Nov 17, 2021
Designed to make Africa’s payment system as simple as a phone call, MFS Africa has coined the title of the continent’s largest digital payment gateway. According to TechCrunch, the fintech has received funding totaling $100 million in a Series C round distributed between $70 million equity and $30 million debt. The round was led by private equity fund AfricInvest FIVE alongside Goodwell Investments and LUN Partners Group. CommerzVentures, Allan Gray Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, Endeavor Harvest, and ShoreCap III also participated in the round. The recent funding marks a new chapter for founder and CEO Dare Okoudjou, who has never had funds reciprocated from their personal acquisitions and investments by fintech on the continent. The London-based company was backed by the principle of making the transaction of money simple and easier for Africans. Combining over 320 million mobile money wallets throughout over 35 African countries and 700 corridors, the payment giant facilitates the...
Nov 10, 2021
Fresh off an impressive WNBA finals run, Skylar Diggins-Smith is striving to level the playing field on a new court. The Phoenix Mercury guard will be partnering with investment platform Public to steer conversations centered around women’s pay equity and building wealth. A partnership of this sort is nothing new for someone like Diggins-Smith, who has been a prominent advocate for the pay gap between men’s and women’s sports. She continues to place herself in positions to invest in a more equitable future for all women. “During my time in the WNBA, I’ve thought a lot and spoken up about how to improve our pay equity as players. But this is an important conversation to have outside of sports, too,” Skylar Diggins-Smith told AfroTech exclusively. “Investing in the stock market can be a great way to build long-term wealth, and I’m excited to work with Public to help the next generation of investors, especially women of color, start investing in the public markets and themselves.” As a...
Nov 2, 2021
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner revealed an exciting opportunity for fans to tap into the stock market on Wednesday. CNBC reported the National Football League (NFL) player has become an equity holder in Public.com, a social investing platform that allows individuals to invest in companies commission-free. In addition, Public promotes financial literacy by allowing users to follow domain authorities and familiar investors. Since the company’s inception in 2019, it has raised $310 million from investors including Accel, Greycroft, and high-profile celebrities like Will Smith and J.J Smith. While the terms of the linebacker’s agreement have not yet been disclosed, he did share the incentive for the recent venture. “I want people to understand how money works and how people invest,” Wagner stated in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday. “You can have conversations with people to get their thoughts on why they are investing in certain things.” The social investment platform —...
Sep 16, 2021
This rapper is entering into new territory. As both a rapper and businessman, Yo Gotti helms as the founder of Collective Music Group. The record label has signed heavy hitters like 42 Dugg, Moneybagg Yo and Blac Youngsta. Now, the music boss is stepping into new territory setting his eyes on a new business venture. According to The Washington Post, Yo Gotti has joined petroleum executive Eyob “Joe” Mamo as a part of an investment group for Major League Soccer (MLS) team D.C. United. Other affiliates associated with the group have not been identified but are speculated to be in the national business sector. The group is projected to gain a six percent stake in the MLS if approved. Yo Gotti has reached an agreement to purchase a minority stake in D.C. United, per @novy_williams . The rapper is part of a group that will gain about a 6% stake in the MLS club, pending approval. In June, RB Mark Ingram also invested in the team at a valuation of about $710M. pic.twitter.com/v5vUaHhWXb —...
Sep 14, 2021
Black women in the music industry continue to make business moves. R&B singer Kaash Paige recently became the first female recording artist to invest in an esports organization. According to a press release, on Sept. 2 Paige invested in Team 33 — a Hollywood-based invite-only esports team. As a seasoned gamer herself, Paige believes that “the future of music is going to tie into gaming” and hopes to be a part of esports’ impact. “I made a significant investment in Team 33 because I have always been passionate about the eSports industry, and I wanted to be the first female recording artist to co-own an eSports team that I can collaborate with and promote my music and concerts through,” Paige said in a press release. Paige first joined Team 33 as a celebrity ambassador in 2020, shortly after Team 33 launched in November. Now, her investment puts her alongside fellow artists like Ty Dolla $ign and 24kGoldn. “To be the first in the entire world to have a female recording artist as a...
Sep 7, 2021
The spurious offspring of Twitch and Slack, Trading.TV recently announced the closing of a $6.1 million seed. The round was led by Tribe Capital, Navy Capital, L Catterton Growth, and Activant, Benzinga previously reported. A portion of the revenue will open a $1 million creator fund which will prioritize the monetization and growth of creative platforms before the fall projections for public availability. Founder and CEO Tobias Heaslip recognized a shift in lucrative revenue for the emerging creative economy during his decade tenure as a trader and analyst. His previous roles involved contributions for Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays. “It was sort of the golden age of investment banking as it relates to TMT deals and social media was just becoming an investable asset class,” Heaslip revealed in a statement.
Sep 2, 2021
If you’re waiting for Jay-Z to slow down when it comes to his money moves, you’ll probably be waiting a long time. According to a press release, his latest business venture is with Phoenix Suns’ Chris Paul as the two businessmen have helped raise a $3 million investment round for Misha’s Kind Foods — a vegan cheese brand. The seed funding round included participation from Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners (MVP) firm, Paul and branding firm Lisa Shamus & Partners. “The mission of Misha’s directly aligns with our values,” said MVP Co-founder Jay Brown in a press release. “When we first discovered Misha’s we found some immediate synergies. We embrace companies that value sustainability, empowerment, inclusivity, accessibility, convenience, health and wellness, and personal expression.” Plant-based investments is far from new territory for both Jay-Z and Paul. According to VegNews, Jay-Z helped raise $300 million for Impossible Foods and has invested in other vegan brands such as Partake...
Aug 27, 2021