Analysis Business of Sport Football stars who invest in startups By Staff Writer June 24, 2022 Creative Commons Cristiano Rinaldo Ronaldo invested in app startup Mobitto Cristiano RonaldoIn 2012, Ronaldo invested in a startup named Mobitto, a Portuguese app, while also becoming a brand ambassador. In 2017, he purchased a minority stake in the Portuguese agency Thing Pink, responsible for the technology in the CR7 museum in Funchal, Madeira. David BeckhamFormer Manchester United and Real Madrid star Beckham reportedly invested $319,000 in Guild Esports, headquartered in London, in 2020. Guild currently fields professional teams across Fortnite, Rocket League, FIFA and Valorant. Michael OwenIn 2013, the Liverpool legend invested money in Sportlobster, a sports social media platform. It was launched in 2013 and amassed 1.4 million users by 2014. Mats HummelsHummels played for Germany during the 2014 World Cup and in 2019 he made an angel investment in an app called StreetPro that provides both free basic training and paid pro training. Gary LinekerIn 2019, the former footballer turned TV presenter, was one of the investors in insurtech startup Neos, which was founded in 2016. Lineker also invested in a startup named Ingenie. Chris SmallingLast year, Smalling, the former Manchester United footballer now playing for Italian club Roma, became an investor in Spanish vegan meat company Heura. It was his second investment in a plant-based food company after investing in vegan meat brand THIS in 2020. Robert LewandowskiIn 2014, the Polish scoring machine became a partner in Protos Venture Capital, a venture capital company whose main area of focus is in Poland and central Eastern Europe. Andrés IniestaThe former Barcelona star invested in FirstVision in 2015, a Spanish company which is developing a wearable broadcast system which records velocity and biometric data of the athlete. Robin van Persie, Thierry Henry and Cesc FabregasIn 2014, the three Arsenal legends were named among new investors in video sharing start-up Grabyo. The real-time video company also counted NBA basketball player Tony Parker as an investor and global brand ambassador after a $2 million funding round. Mathieu FlaminiThe former Arsenal midfielder co-founded Paris-based GFBiochemicals, the only company to produce levulinic acid derivatives at commercial scale directly from biomass. He has also founded The BioJournal, an online magazine devoted to reporting news from the world of bioconservation. Those who has became venture capital advisors Mesut OzilIn 2020, Ozil, who helped Germany lift the World Cup in 2014 and played for Real Madrid and Arsenal, was announced as a strategic advisor and a limited partner for Class 5 Global, a San Francisco-based venture capital outfit with an office in Dubai. Class 5 was founded in late 2019 by Zach Finkelstein, former VP of corporate development at Careem, Joel Ayala and Jon Krause. Outside of football, NBA star Kevin Durant has made a name for himself by investing heavily in the tech space while former LA Laker superstar Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash, was an investor and co-founder of venture ﬁrm Bryant Stiebel, with investments in Alibaba and Dell. Basketball stars Carmelo Anthony and Stephen Curry plus tennis player Serena Williams have also invested respectively in Lyft, Pinterest, and Impossible Foods.