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Athlete Angel Update #4

It's that time again - the Athlete Angel Update is here! This blog series regularly provides insights into the latest developments in the world of Athlete Angels. Who has made a new investment? Which athletes are taking their first steps in the startup scene? These and other questions are the focus of this section.

This is the fourth episode. We look back on the past months of the year. Several experienced Athlete Angels are featured!

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Julian Draxler

Julian Draxler has acquired a significant stake of 3.47% in the company coachwhisperer. This company is setting new standards by developing the world's first live intercom and monitoring system for coaches and athletes. The business model of coachwhisperer is revolutionizing the way coaches and athletes communicate and collaborate. Julian Draxler's investment through his investment vehicle JD Investment GmbH not only highlights his confidence in coachwhisperer's innovative technology but also demonstrates his commitment to advancing sports through technological innovations.

Marc-André ter Stegen & Christopher Lenz

The recent Family & Friends financing round of Moelk has drawn attention due to the participation of Marc-André ter Stegen (footballer FC Barcelona) and Christopher Lenz (footballer Eintracht Frankfurt). The company, founded by Kevin Trapp (footballer Eintracht Frankfurt), aims to create a unique presence as a sustainable lifestyle brand. Moelk's mission is to be the exclusive provider of plant-based milk that combines exceptional taste, top-notch quality, and appealing aesthetics. Following the financing round, Trapp himself remains involved in his startup with a 22.5% stake.

Mario Götze

As always, the football star Mario Götze is also on board.

Recently, the investor Mario Götze announced his participation in UNARIC. The company successfully concluded a seed funding round of $35 million. UNARIC follows a business model where promising Salesforce ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) are acquired and integrated to harness their potentials. UNARIC actively supports the scaled companies to expand their market presence. Mario Götze brings his expertise and capital to drive forward this visionary corporate strategy.

The news about Mario Götze's investment in Tromero has also been circulating. The company raised £1.5 million in a seed funding round. What sets Tromero apart is its unconventional approach: combining traditional proof-of-work consensus with artificial intelligence. This innovative blockchain approach offers a significantly more cost-effective alternative for AI training compared to industry giants like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. The seed round was led by BlueYard Capital.

The 2014 World Cup winner has also engaged as an investor in Renoster, a promising company that has successfully completed a $3.75 million seed funding round. Renoster has captured the attention not only of Mario Götze but also notable investors such as Better Ventures and Climatic. The business model distinguishes itself by its independence from project developers and other companies. They use remote sensing to monitor the physical properties of the project area from space. This innovative technique allows the startup to accurately calculate CO² sequestration, which is a significant step toward sustainable environmental protection strategies.

The footballer has also invested in the future of ScorePlay. The recently concluded seed funding round brought an impressive $5 million to the company. What makes ScorePlay's business model unique is the creation of an all-in-one AI-powered media platform designed exclusively for sports organizations and used by sports organizations. Through a design thinking approach, they have created a tool that enables sports organizations to become experts in their workflows and optimize their tasks through the power of automation. In addition to Mario Götze, prominent investors such as Seven Seven Six, 35V (Kevin Durant's investment vehicle), and the French footballer Raphaël Varane have placed their trust in ScorePlay.

Lastly, Mario Götze has announced another investment. However, this is a participation in a fund. firedrop is a recently launched angel fund by Pietro Invernizzi, supporting founder teams from the beginning. In the background, over 150 founders, business angels, and VCs participate in the fund. Together, they invest between $100k to $250k tickets in startups through firedrop. Notable limited partners in firedrop include founders from Flix, Delivery Hero, Zalando, or Flink, alongside Mario.

Dominic Thiem

The Austrian tennis star has also participated in the seed round of ScorePlay, just like Mario Götze. As a result, the sports startup can welcome another prominent athlete as an investor, alongside the German footballer, basketball player Kevin Durant, and Varane.

Christiano Ronaldo

While perhaps not originating from the DACH region, the arguably greatest footballer of all time has recently invested in a German company from Karlsruhe. Chrono24, the leading marketplace for luxury watches, has added the global superstar to its list of shareholders. In exchange for his investment through CR7 SA, Ronaldo receives approximately 0.1% of the company's shares. The unicorn has previously been supported by well-known investors such as General Atlantic, Insight Partners, and Bernard Arnault (LVMH).

Marvin Plattenhardt

Not a conventional investment as a business angel, but still an exciting step. The Bundesliga player is partnering with his wife, Sara, to introduce the first pistachio-based vegan milk alternative to the European market. The brand Pinù stands out for its low calorie content, sustainable production, and an abundance of vitamins and proteins. Their passion for pistachio products is now being actively realized through this venture, aiming to integrate their replacement product into the market.

Manuel Neuer

Manuel Neuer has also been featured in the Athlete Angel Update before. Now he has founded another company. The Health Yeah AG, based in Dorsten, specializes in healthy snacks that meet the highest quality standards and can be integrated into various dietary lifestyles. Jan Driessen, a friend of the goalkeeper, forms the executive board of the startup. The supervisory board positions are filled by Manuel himself and Julia Schlotmann-Hosel, who brings retail experience. Also on board are Anton Reich and Felix Hellenberg, two former managers from the successful food startup yFood. The launch of the first products is planned for the fall of this year.

Today's episode features both investors and founders. This is proof that not only startup investments are of interest to athletes but also the founding of their own companies. It's also noticeable that the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) continues to be dominated by football players in this scene.

Have you come across terms you're unfamiliar with? Utilize Athlete Capital's new lexicon or reach out to our experienced investment manager at! With Athlete Capital, all professional athletes now have the opportunity to take their first steps as investors. Whether inexperienced or already active, our offering of a community platform, startup matching, and individual support ensures a successful start as an Athlete Angel.

References: LinkedIn, Dorstener Zeitung, Handelsregister, Page, Business Insider

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