Lionel Messi founds an investment firm in Silicon Valley

The captain of the Argentine soccer team, Lionel Messi, founded a company that will invest in sports, media and technology around the world. The firm called Play Time Sports-Tech HoldCo LLC, will be based in the US city of San Francisco and will be the main vehicle from now on for the Paris Saint Germain player’s investments.

The investment holding company will be dedicated to exploring “agnostic” opportunities that could include, for example, financing clubs or startups related to football technology. “I am excited to extend our roots in Silicon Valley and I am delighted that Play Time will collaborate with entrepreneurs from around the world,” said the Argentine star in a statement released by the Bloomberg agency.

On a day-to-day basis, Play Time will be hosted by Razmig Hovaghimian, an American businessman who is a partner in the venture capital firm Graph Ventures. Meanwhile, Michael Marquez, founder of the investment bank Code Advisors, will act as advisor to Messi’s new venture.

Hovaghimian is the co-founder of Matchday.com, a soccer-related gaming website that will open before the next World Cup in Qatar and that counts Play Time as its first investor. “Since I met Leo and the Messi family in 2017, it is clear that his vision for the future is bold,” said Hovaghimian. The Rosario star’s partner pointed out that Messi and his family “want to continue having a direct and lasting impact on and off the field.”

Messi is not the first elite athlete to decide to dedicate himself to investments. Selena Williams, a 23-time grand slam winner, created a venture capital firm (Serena Ventures) that raised $111 million this year, and has invested in a myriad of startups from cryptocurrency wallets to online education and delivery platforms. of healthy food.

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Meanwhile, LeBron James, the highest-paid player in NBA history, invested US$100 million in 2020 to found an audiovisual content production company (SpringHil Company), has invested US$30.5 million in Canyon – a German production company of bicycles used in professional competitions-, acquired a share of the owner of the English Liverpool, and is a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox of the American baseball league as well as a Nascar team.

For his part, tennis player Roger Federer has invested nearly US$49 million in On Holding, a Swiss sneaker manufacturer that plans to raise US$622 million with its listing on the New York stock exchange, while the seven-time tennis world champion Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton has become part owner of the Denver Broncos NFL team, and has financed nutritional drink firms and vegetarian restaurants.

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