NBA star Stephen Curry becomes part owner of CoachUp

CoachUp helps connect athletes, both professional and non-professional, with private coaches

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
March 30, 2015
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We've seen people from all walks of life ingratiate themselves into the tech world, from actors and musicians to politicians. So why not athletes too?

CoachUp, a private coaching company, has just announced that it has added a very high profile part-owner: basketball star Stephen Curry, who is a guard with the Golden State Warriors and a two-time NBA All-Star. Curry became friends with CoachUp founder Jordan Fliegel, who previously played professional basketball in Israel,  a few years ago, which is what leading to Curry becoming a part of the company.

The company helps connect athletes, both professional and non-professional, with private coaches. Athelese, and parents, can search by city and sport to easily find coaches. They also get access to knowledgeable athlete advisors to help them find their perfect coach. CoachUp coaches, who are vetted, provide personalized feedback after every session.

It currently  had more than 13,000 coaches and provides opportunies in a slew of different sports, including soccer, basketball, dance, track and field, and baseball.

In a blog post on Medium, Curry talked about his own life and what having personal coaches has meant to him, and why he felt it was important to promote what CoachUp is  doing.

"Individual coaching sessions have helped me develop as a player, and I still do them during the NBA offseason. It’s a cyclical and symbiotic relationship: Through continuous training and maintaining a steady work ethic, I always feel like there’s more I can achieve," he wrote. That’s why each and every day, I do something to try and get better; to challenge myself; to learn more about the game; to make my teammates better."

"This way of thinking isn’t just reserved for Stephen Curry, the professional basketball player, either. I believe that the persistence and time that I put into my craft can lead anyone to success."

In addition to owning part of the company, Curry will be also "provide strategic guidance as CoachUp expands its brand and nationwide network of coaches," the company wrote.

In his own blog post, Fliegel wrote about what makes Curry a good fit for CoachUp.

"He believes strongly in what we do. Stephen’s one-on-one work with private coaches since he was a kid meant countless extra hours practicing his shooting and dribbling and doing drills to make him faster and stronger. These individual training sessions have always been a part of his training, and they still are today," he said. "Stephen knows what it means to work hard to reach the next level and how important personal coaches are in that equation. In fact, his personal coaches and thousands of others like them are on CoachUp, training athletes every day, all across the country."

The two men shared the "belief in the power of private coaching," and both had a strong desire to make those opportunities available to all kids.

Founded in 2011, CoachUp has raised $9.4 million in funding, including a $6.7 million Series A round in November 2013. Investors in the company include venture capital firms such as Point Judith Capital, General Catalyst Partners. Breakaway Ventures, Data Point Capital, and Suffolk Equity Partners, as well as individual investors, including Paul English and Albert Dobron.

VatorNews has reached out to CoachUp for more information regarding what Curry's role will entail at the company. We will update this story if we learn more.

Athletes in tech

Curry isn't the first star athlete to throw themselves into the tech world.

Recently retired NBA player Steve Nash is a founder and partner at a NYC VC firm, Consigliere Brand Capital, which has invested in companies such as Casper, Birch Box and StellaService.

Magic Johnson invested in Detroit Venture Partners and became a general partner at the firm. Investments have included Quickly, Stylecaster, Sociocast, and FLUD News.

After he retired last year, former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter launched The Players’ Tribune, a digital startup dedicated to professional athletes being able to share stories and become closer to their fans. 

And then there is the reverse: former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion last summer, following the the whole Donald Sterling fiasco. The acquisition forced him to step down from the board of his old company in order to put his entire focus on his new team.

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