According to paperwork submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this morning, Armstrong and Next Ventures general partner Lionel Conacher have so far attracted $24.5 million from limited partners to back startups in the sports, fitness, nutrition and wellness markets.
Both Armstrong and Conacher are long-time athletes, with Armstrong, of course, known for his professional cycling career and high-profile doping scandal that resulted in the International Cycling Union stripping him of his seven Tour de France titles in 2012. Conacher’s bio states he is “a life-long multi-sport athlete and outdoorsman and proud member of Canada’s first family of sport.” Conacher also has experience in investment banking and private equity as the former vice chairman of Roth Capital Partners.
Next Ventures disclosed its first investment six months ago. The fund supplied capital to Carlsbad, Calif.-based PowerDot, a 2.5-year-old maker of an app-based, smart muscle stimulation device that sends electrical pulses to contract tender soft tissue, helping runners and other athletes recover from their workouts. The firm has since invested in sleep and activity tracker Oura, community-building fitness app Spar, and two others.
Armstrong, banned from cycling for life, got his start in investing after serving as an LP to Lowercase Capital. Through his investment in Lowercase, he received early stock in Uber that he claims “saved” his family from financial ruin.
If Armstrong and Conacher reach their targeted amount, Next Ventures would become one of the larger sports and fitness-focused funds as VCs double down on an industry led by Peloton’s sky-high success.