TechCrunch is excited to announce next month New York Knicks Forward Carmelo Anthony and former NBC and Bertelsmann exec Stuart Goldfarb are speaking together at Disrupt NY. The pair started investing in tech startups together back in 2013 and have so far recorded several wins. The long-time family friends named their investment vehicle Melo 7 Tech Partners after Anthony’s jersey number, and his son’s birthday March 7th.
News of the all-star athlete’s venture capital ambitions had skeptics cautioning that bad investments are a reason why other NBA stars eventually lost the personal wealth they worked so hard to amass.
By now, the duo has backed about 20 companies with six of these purchased by larger firms in the past two years. While some of those deals were acqui-hires that obviously didn’t generate great returns for Goldfarb and Anthony, their fund saw a more solid exit, recently.
Last month, as TechCrunch’s Katie Roof reported, Mars PetCare acquired Whistle, makers of a GPS pet tracker that Melo 7 Tech backed in 2013. The deal was valued at over $100 million.
What remains of the Melo 7 Tech portfolio are a number of startups that have managed to attract sizable rounds led by traditional VC funds like Felicis Ventures, Accel Partners and Battery Ventures.
Examples include the ticketing app SeatGeek; the mobile app for wine reviews and shopping, Vivino; Maker’s Row, a marketplace that connects US-based factories with small businesses who want to manufacture their products domestically; and Walker & Co. makers of health and beauty products for people of color.
Since investments in early stage startups take seven to ten years to get to a point of liquidity, typically, it’s far too early to know if Melo 7 Tech will become as much a tour de force in venture capital as Anthony, a nine-time all-star, has been in the NBA.
We’ll speak with Carmelo Anthony and Stuart Goldfarb at TechCrunch Disrupt in Brooklyn May 9 through May 11, about the crazy things fans and founders do to get their attention, tech that’s having the biggest impact on pro athletes now, and what’s inspiring so many celebs and pro-athletes to get into the startup investing game.
To take advantage of early bird pricing, buy your ticket soon.
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