• Richard Sherman got into software because of how it rules people's daily lives
  • Sherman had known John Sakoda and Decibel for years and was convinced of their vision
  • Decibel invested in Blameless, an AI-driven software for finding glitches in applications 

San Fransisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman has a strategy for investing in startups, and "it's all about interest."

The 31-year-old Pro Football Focus' "best cornerback of the decade" who played at his fifth Pro Bowl sat down for an interview with Fortune to talk about life, football, and investing. Sherman is among the increasing number of athletes who are turning to venture capital funds to grow wealth.

Sherman joined new independent VC firm Decibel, whose principal backer is technology conglomerate Cisco, and was working on a portfolio of software companies since last year. Decibel is led by founding partner Jon Sakoda and was with Sherman in the interview.

One of the companies that the fund had invested in was Blameless, which develops an AI-driven software that helps find glitches in their applications quickly and have it resolved right away. "They help engineering teams basically learn from their mistakes," said Sakoda.

Sherman got into software investing because of how it rules over people's lives, from printing tickets to attend football games to withdrawing cash from a bank. Sherman also understands the importance of data in how it can be used for "studying ourselves and our opponents."

As far as strategy goes, Sherman said, "I have a strategy to it, but it's all about interest. I'm interested obviously in technology and player safety."

"I sit on the board of Vicis, a helmet company that's revolutionized the industry. And I invested in Oxeia—they're still going through clinical trials, but it's going to be a pill that guys can take within 24 hours of getting a concussion that will mitigate the effects of the concussion. I'm interested in making this game safer for my kids. And my kids' kids."

Sherman had known Sakoda for years, and his reason for joining Decibel is because of the fund's vision of doing something different to give an unfair advantage to the founders. VC firms can indeed leverage two value propositions in athletes: their net worth and influence.

"We shared a similar commitment for social justice, equality, and creating affordable housing right here in San Jose. It was clear to me that this was an all-star team and I was excited to be a part of it," said Sherman.

NBA stars and former teammates in Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, and Stephen Curry are all involved in VC firms. The late Kobe Bryant also launched Bryant Stibel in 2013 and, like Decibel, invests in technology, media, and data.

Richard Sherman
Richard Sherman signed with the San Francisco 49ers after a long and successful career with the Seattle Seahawks. Pictured: Injured cornerback Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks smiles from the sidelines before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at CenturyLink Field on December 3, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images