Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi, who is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, announces his plans to get into technology investing through a new channel that will be spearheaded by two Silicon Valley veterans.
The new partnership, between the player’s Messi Group and Silicon Valley executives Razmig Hovaghimian and special advisor Michael Marquez, will be known as Playtime Sports – Tech HoldCo LLC. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Messi Group said Play Time will be a holding company and will function as the main medium for Messi’s investments in sports, media, and technology investments globally.
At the same time, Play Time will explore opportunities into taking stakes in sports teams and investing in “football tech,” the company said in a statement.
Play Time also revealed that it has already incubated a startup called Matchday.com, a still-stealth-mode games studio for football fans that plans to launch before the FIFA World Cup in November. Plus, it’s made its first seed-stage investment in AC Momento, which auctions match-worn football shirts sourced from clubs and players.
In a statement, Messi said: “I am excited to extend our roots into Silicon Valley, and I am thrilled that Play Time will collaborate with daring entrepreneurs from all over the world. I hope that through its success Play Time will help many people and have a positive impact on the world. I trust in the team and our partners to achieve our objectives.”
Play Time’s co-founder and chief executive will be Razmig Hovaghimian, who is a partner at Graph Ventures. He formerly headed Hoodline (Pixel Labs), a local news platform that combined machine learning with on-the-ground reporting. He also co-founded entertainment startup Viki, which exited to Rakuten for $200-plus million in 2013. Consequently, he joined Rakuten’s corporate board as a board observer and in 2016 was named the company’s first Entrepreneur in Residence.
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