The Golden State Warriors Love The Venture Capital World, Especially Andre Iguodala

Written by Ann Brown
Andre Ignodala
Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala (9) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

There have always been stories about professional players who waste all their millions of earnings, but this may become a thing of the past.

“Long known as one of basketball’s smartest players, and savviest technology investors, Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala is pioneering a new kind of assist–bringing his brotherhood of teammates and fellow athletes along as part of syndicates investing tech companies,” Fast Company reported.

He’s becoming the NBA’s ambassador to Silicon Valley and is showing his teammates and other NBA players the way to investing in tech. It’s how the former All-Star and NBA Finals MVP plans to solidify his financial future as well as to help other athletes not to go bankrupt.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 57: Howard Franklin PT 3

Part 3 of the Swamp Series: Jamarlin continues his talk with corporate lobbyist Howard Franklin, who has represented clients such as Amazon, Google and Sprint. They discuss the backdoor lobbying techniques of the swamp and the Congressional Black Caucus backing DCCC’s Cheri Bustos.

“It’s all about connecting,” said Iguodala, who recently hosted a dinner to bring players in contact with people in the tech world. “Connecting the tech world with the tech world, and the tech world with the basketball world.”

“Iguodala arranged this 72-person dinner, which took place a few days before the start of the NBA season in October, with Rudy Cline-Thomas, his former financial adviser and now investing partner,” Fast Company reported.

In attendance was reigning two-time MVP Stephen Curry; fellow All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green; and center JaVale McGee, along with Zaza Pachulia. From Silicon Valley there was Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, now former Autodesk CEO Carl Bass, venture capitalist Mary Meeker, and Apple Music and iTunes head of marketing Bozoma Saint John, Andreessen Horowitz partner Jeff Jordan, among others.

Iguodala is hoping others will follow his investment leads. “He’s been building a reputation as a shrewd Silicon Valley investor, getting in early on Facebook, Netflix, and Tesla stock, among others, and has built an enviable Rolodex of A-list VCs, CEOs, and Valley entrepreneurs, many of whom account for the billions of dollars in total net worth sitting courtside at every sold-out Warriors game. He’s been a featured panelist at TechCrunch Disrupt and a headliner at a recent LinkedIn speaker series,” Fast Company reported.

Iguodala, who has made $118 million since entering the league, also invested in social fitness startup, Chorus, as well as TruMid, a George Soros-backed electronic trading platform that recently surpassed $1 billion in total trades; the sleep-tech companies Hello and Thrive Global; Walker & Company, a health and beauty products for people of color; and The Players Tribune, Derek Jeter’s athlete-focused media company.

Iguodala also joined the board of ecommerce startup Jumia, which wants to create an Amazon-like presence in Africa.

“In 2017, Iguodala took part in a $170 million Series C that valued Casper at $920 million. He was one of several celebrity investors, including fellow NBA all-stars Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving, who took part in the investment for the mattress startup,” Pitchbook reported.

It’s no wonder Iguodala describes himself first as an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist, and lastly as an NBA player on his LinkedIn page.