NBA’s Durant to NRL’s Papenhuyzen: Athletes Bank Side Hustles
evin Durant, American professional Basketball player, more commonly known as KD, has revealed his astonishing secret side hustle investing in health tracking firm WHOOP, which recently secured $200 million in funding for the F series round bringing the company’s valuation to $3.6 billion.
Co-founded in 2012 by current CEO Will Ahmed, WHOOP has raised approximately $400 million.
WHOOP plans to use the capital to invest in R&D to build the future of wearable health technology along with investments in technology, personnel and new markets.
WHOOP is expected to double over the next five years as Durant has led the way as the investment market has attracted other pro athletes to invest in the company, including Footballers Patrick Mahomes, Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning alongside golfers Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas
The Four-time NBA champion invested in the company in 2017, where WHOOP was tabbed at a $125 million valuation during the 2018 Series C.
The WHOOP finance round was led by Softbank Vision Fund 2 as the valuation is three times as it was for Series E in October 2020.
During that round, Durant increased his Stakes in WHOOP.
This new fundraising appraisal means roughly a 2800% return for Kevin and his investment vehicle, Thirty Five Ventures.
Durant’s business Thirty Five is run by long-time business partner Rich Kleiman with 25 full-time employees focused on Durant’s endorsements, investments, media properties, foundation and sports business media network boardroom; Durant currently has more than 75 active start-up investments.
In the past few months, Durant has posted a series of investment wins as digital currency exchange Coinbase went public in April and closed at $328 on its first day of trading, marking a 54-fold increase in valuation from Durant’s first 2017 investment, since then shares are down 20%.
We continue to see a new breed of athlete following in Durant’s footsteps, Melbourne Storm player Ryan Papenhuyzen has revealed on SEN Breakfast his love for business side hustle investments and numbers.
Papenhuyzen is heavily involved in Melbourne-based merchandise and memorabilia business Four Point Collectables.
Gaining the nickname ‘Rainman from business partner and former teammate Sandor Earl, Papenhuyzen said: “I don’t mind it [Rainman].
“I love numbers, and it’s actually not a bad gig, so I don’t mind it at all,” he said.
“It’s going really well, and obviously, with the NBA starting back, it’s a big boost for us.
“We all had a little break there for a while, and now we’re all back into it.
“Almost straight away, Sandor pulled out a $30,000 card which obviously brought some interest back into it, so it’s flying at the moment.
“It has been pretty crazy the last couple of years, but while you’re going about your business, it just feels like a job, like you’re supposed to be doing it.