Draymond Green, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors, says he’s working with well-known investors involved in the tech space. That wasn’t a massive secret — Green has historically been quite public about his investments, like SmileDirectClub — but until this morning at TechCrunch Disrupt, he hadn’t previously named his go-to investing partners.
When asked by TechCrunch’s Brian Heater on stage whether he was looking to start an investment fund, Green replied that he wasn’t because he’s already involved with a group of prominent VCs, including Chamath Palihapitiya, Bill Gurley, Jason Calacanis and Bill Lee.
“I have some of the best friends in the world, especially when you’re speaking of funds, and so I don’t personally feel the need to go create my own when I have experts like that in my life that can help guide me. So, I am invested in some of their funds. I have invested in some deals outside of the funds, as well” Green said. “I take pride in learning and I never want it to come off as if I know more than them … It’s not something that I see for me, trying to start my own firm, but I do enjoy and appreciate being an LP in their funds.”
Palihapitiya was an early investor at Facebook and backed Yammer and Slack through his fund, Social+Capital Partnership. Gurley, currently at Benchmark, has led investments in a number of high-profile companies including Nextdoor and OpenTable. Calacanis is an angel investor in various tech startups, including the mindfulness app Calm. And Bill Lee is one of the co-founders of Craft Ventures, alongside which Green has invested in the past.
Green — who once told CNBC that he wanted to become a billionaire by age 40 — has been an active investor in startups for several years, beginning in 2015 with SmileDirectClub. He’s poured money into Blink Fitness, which aims to bring affordable options for fitness to underserved communities; the tequila brand Lobos 1707; and Snackpass, a social food ordering platform.
Green’s more recent investments span self-filtering water bottle brand LARQ and LeBron James’ company, Uninterrupted, a multimedia platform for athletes and general sports content.
Not all of those investments have turned out to be strong long-term performers. For example, while SmileDirectClub raised over $400 million while private, the company ended up giving back most of its IPO-driven valuation gain after going public. Others appear to be going strong, however, like Snackpass, which last year raised around $70 million at an over-$400 million valuation as the platform crossed 500,000 users.
As of June, Green had a reported net worth of $50 million.
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