Fresh off a new five-year, $122 million contract with the New York Knicks, NBA star Carmelo Anthony and his business partners will launch a venture capital firm.
Anthony and Stuart Goldfarb, the former executive vice president of NBC and the current CEO at Bertelsmann Direct North America, have teamed up to form M7 Tech Partners, TechCrunch reports. The firm plans to invest in tech startups, burgeoning digital media outlets and consumer Internet.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in technology,” Anthony said in a statement. “We are actively looking for ventures with strong leaders creating breakthrough products that resonate with customers. I particularly have my eye on companies that are involved with wearable technology and connected devices. These will be huge areas for the future.”
“M7” stands for Anthony’s nickname, “Melo,” and his jersey number. The NBA forward will reportedly seek to leverage his popularity on social media and existing business interests into successful future investments.
To start, Anthony’s firm announced its inaugural investment in Hullabalu Inc., a children’s media company that has already generated $1.8 million in funding from other venture capital investors, TechCrunch notes. In a statement, Anthony cited Hullabalu’s innovative take on storytelling as the reason behind his decision to invest.
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Goldfarb and Anthony are longtime friends. “We have complementary strengths and a very close, 50/50 partnership … I have more time to do the leg work of scoping out potential deals for us," Goldfarb said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "But Melo has incredible business instincts and a great record when it comes to product design, social media and business development.”
Anthony joins other professional athletes who have the entered venture capital arena, TechCrunch notes. Amar’e Stoudamire, Baron Davis and Steve Nash each built notable portfolios. Nash’s firm, Consigliere Capital, boasts investments in Birchbox, KiwiCrate and Stella Service.