Wellness Firm Attracts Investment from Rihanna, Jay-Z, Durant

You know you are doing something right when more than 100 big names in entertainment, sports, business, and culture want to back you up.

 

Wellness company Therabody has attracted the support of a large group of bigwigs, including Jay-Z, Kevin Durant, Russell Wilson, Ciara, Thirty-Five Ventures owned by Rich Kleiman, and Rx3 Growth Partners, which is a growth equity fund owned by Aaron Rodgers. Even Bond actor Daniel Craig is in on the action.

 

Some of the celebrities invested through their venture capital companies, like Kevin Hart’s HeartbeatVentures.

 

The A-list investors wanted to invest in lucrative opportunities in the pain and injury management field. Said Kleiman: ”Therabody is at the forefront of incredible opportunities in the wellness space, and we look forward to seeing what else they’re going to accomplish.”

 

Therabody was established in 2017 as Theragun, and the company has succeeded in tripling revenue in this short while. The company owns 126 patents and another 138 of its patents are still pending.

 

Therabody products are stocked globally in 10,000 stores and this latest funding round will further fuel expansion in global markets.

 

Therabody CEO Benjamin Nazarian takes the fact that so many entrepreneurs, athletes, and celebrities are investing in the company as a validation of their mission and their products.

 

Besides Rihanna, tennis star Maria Sharapova, Justin Timberlake, and Breanna Stewart all invested in Therabody.

 

How it all Started

 

The remarkable story of Therabody began when Los Angeles chiropractor Jason Werslandwent through a nasty motorcycle accident that left him with lingering chronic pain. The year was 2008.

 

Wersland’s struggle to alleviate his pain led him to invent a unique handheld massage therapy device to alleviate the pain.

 

When he saw that the device relieved his pain instantly, he wasted no time sharing the exciting discovery with friends, colleagues, and patients.

 

It took 8 years for Wersland to turn his idea into a business. The chiropractor finally got together with Ben Nazarian, a venture capitalist, and released what he called the Theragun.

 

Theragun, later on, morphed into Therabody and grew so quickly that even Nazarian and Wersland were surprised. Well-known companies in the industry were impressed by the innovation.

 

Now, the company is raising money from celebrities and elite athletes. Some of the athletes who have invested in Theragun include Kevin Durant, Russell Wilson, Marcus Rashford, Josh Allen, Kirk Cousins, Sam Darnold, Maria Sharapova, DeAndre Hopkins, and Breanna Stewart.

 

The athletes drawn to Wersland’s innovation are football players, tennis players, and basketball players.

 

CEO Nazarian reports that Theragun is one of those few companies that have been profitable literally from year one. This is the first time that Theragun is mobilizing outside the capital. The initial capital from founders has been enough so far.

 

Growth

 

It was a chance for the influential people to become part of the growth and expansion ofa unique company that would still have survived without them.

 

Now that Therabody is already established as a massage therapy gun provider, the company is poised to conduct further research and development, penetrate new markets, and launch new offerings into the market.

 

Theragun is on an ambitious mission to launch in 10 more countries within the next two years.

 

At first, Therabody was branded as an alternative pain alleviation solution for survivors of motorcycle accidents.

 

Now, the product has evolved into a non-invasive pain management solution for fitness fanatics and professional athletes. This perhaps explains the huge number of athletes putting money into the venture.

 

Therabody has attracted soccer players like Kevin De Bruyne and Trend Alexander-Arnold who play for Manchester City and Liverpool respectively.

 

A record 9 football quarterbacks, both current and former, joined Rihanna in investing in the company.

 

CEO Nazarian said that the company achieved tremendous growth by committing itself to research and efficiency as well as winning the trust of customers in their products. He said that investors were interested in taking better care of their bodies in a natural way and building a company that makes an impact.

 

He says that Therabody is not yet done revolutionizing the field of recovery and health.

 

2017 was the first full year for the company and Therabody made a profit that year. Between 2019 and 2020, the company tripled its revenue.

 

One of the things that they did to grow their company was partnering with football clubs like Manchester City, Real Madrid, and Paris-Saint Germain as well as working with more and more retailers. They have grown their retail network from 40 stores in the US initially up to more than 10,000 retailers scattered across the globe at the moment.

 

Investor Larry Marcus had this to say about Therabody: “Ben, Dr. Jason, and the entire Therabody team are passionate about helping people and delivering innovative products and experiences. We deeply resonate with the company’s mission of providing recovery, health, and holistic wellness solutions for everybody.” Larry Marcus co-founded of Marcy Venture Partners, an investor in Therabody.

 

The Therabody CEO says that the company is poised to take advantage of massive opportunities for growth on a global scale.

Celebrity Investors Invest in a Black-Owned Company and Make History

It see s that 2021 is the year for black Venture Capitalists to expand access to capital for black owned businesses.

 

An A-list of celebrity investors are investing millions of dollars in a black-owned snack company, and helping the black female owner make history in the process.

 

Partake Foods which was founded by Denise Woodard, a black woman, just snagged a $4.8 million round of funding that will fuel the company’s operations, marketing, and manufacturing.

 

Among the celebrity investors is billionaire R&B star Rihanna as well as Black Capital and Black Star Fund belonging to ex NBA players Kevin Johnsons and Bobby Wagner.

 

All the new investors into Partake Food investments are said to be from black celebrities like Jay Z through his Venture Capital Fund Marcy Venture Partners.

 

H.E.R, a Grammy award winning singer is going to be pouring in her own substantial investment of $7.5 million.

 

It was no accident that these black A-listers chose to invest in a black owned business.

 

“That was very deliberate,” explained Denise Woodard. “I feel very passionate about continuing to increase wealth in the Black community wherever possible and so having investors on board that understand those missions and goals is really important to me.”

 

These investors come influencers have helped Woodard to make her mark in history as the first woman of color to receive $1 million in funding for a culinary startup.

 

Partake Foods has been growing rapidly, with 350 stores opening just last year.

 

By the sounds of it, she is going to need the money. Woodard wants to set up a massive 5,500 physical locations by the end of the year. Taking her company from just 350 stores last year to 5,500 locations will be an ambitious undertaking.

 

The exciting funding round is evidence that black investors are actively looking to invest in black enterprises

 

Rihanna’s participation in this funding round was unique because it is her first time to invest outside of her own ventures. Apart from Rihanna and Kevin Johnson, John Foraker, Jay Z, and HER were also investing. Rihanna was the lead investor though.

 

Partake is a snack brand that is allergy-friendly and it has catapulted founder Woodard to her own unique position as the first black woman of color to raise $1 million for a food startup. She plans on using the money to fuel her rapid expansion plans.

 

Woodard is well aware that even though black women are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs in America, they get less than 1% in funding. Woodard hopes that her work will help to change that situation so that black women are better able to raise funding for their businesses.

 

Partake is at the helm of a fellowship program called Black Futures in Food $ Beverage that is working to build inclusivity in the food industry. Her initiative brings together HBCUs, NC A&T, Clark Atlanta, Florida A&M, and Howard.

 

Woodard hopes that her remarkable story, which begins with her selling cookies out of her car, will inspire other people towards greatness.

 

“I sold cookies out of my car up and down the street in New York every single day; I drove to natural food stores and did demos every single day . . . there’s so much of a longer grind,” she says. “I say that to say that if I can figure this out and get here, anyone can.”

 

If Woodard succeeds in her vision, she won’t be the last woman of color to raise millions of dollars in funding for a food startup.

Indian Cricket Idols who turned Investors in 2020

We have witnessed a chain of unexpected occurences in 2020, and even elite cricket players in India had to keep themselves busy in other ways when their training was interrupted. We saw Indian cricketers deepen their interest in technology and business as they connected with their fanbase in different ways.

 

The cricketers invested in startup companies as well as growth stage companies that were already backed by Venture Capitalists.

 

Cricket players like Yuvraj Singh, ViratKohli, and Mahendra Singh threw themselves behind the latest entrepreneurs of 2020. They invested in ventures like dukaantech and healthtech startups among others like Digit Insurance, Sarva Yoga, and Khatabook. These ventures are in different niches across the economy.

 

Ravi Shastri, a coach and commentator went into male hygiene and grooming with 23 yards, which is a private label that he launched in a partnership with AdorMultiproducts, a Mumbai company that will be producing hand sanitizer and grooming products for men aged 25-40.

 

Startups appeared prominently in the Indian Premier League as sponsors as well as appeared as brand associations. This gave the startups a stronger connection to Indian cricket.

 

Here are some cricket stars and what they were up to in business:

 

AjinkyaRahane

 

We don’t know exactly how much the Indian cricket test vice captain invested in MeraKisan, but the cricket star is now an in vestor in the agritech company as well as a brand ambassador.

 

MeraKisan is backed by the Mahindra Group and founded in 2016. The company works with organic farmers to achieve certification, provide technical support and produce high quality organic food.

 

Rahane is also working with ELSA Corp as the global ambassador for their edtech products.

 

GautamGambhir

 

GautamGambhir is best known for cricket and politics, but he is now solidifying his portfolio of investments. Gambhir put an undisclosed amount of money in healthtech company FYI health. FYI is working to help offices reopen safely after the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

FYI provides education to employees as well as provide health checkups on the daily.

 

HarshaBhogle

 

HarshaBhogle is not a cricket player, but his popularity is at par with many popular Indian cricketers. He is diversifying his investment portfolio with a cash injection into Fantasy Akhada, a fantasy sports game.

 

Bhogle will be the public face of Fantasy Khada for the next two years.

 

AmitPurohit founded Fantasy Akhada in 2020. The platform provides players with a range of gameplay options. Bhogle’s addition to the brand has attracted an additional 1 lakh customers to the platform.

 

Bhogle has also invested in Chqbook, a Gurugram finance marketplace for bringing together borrowers and lenders.

 

KapilDev

 

KapilDev, a former India Captain and a winner in the World Cup has a diversified portfolio of investments. Dev has sunk some of his own money into Harmonizer India, a deeptech startup.

 

Harmonizer is a product that was founded in 2019 to help enterprises better manage their power usage using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence solutions.

 

Dev has interests in other startups like PeopleEasy which is an online supermarket, Samco Ventures (fintech), VAOO, and WizCounsel.

 

 

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

 

Former India Captain, or ‘Captain Cool’ as he is better known, Mahendra Singh Dhonialready  has an impressive investment portfolio.

 

In 2020, Dhoni invested in Khatabook, a business ledger app company based in Bengaluru. Dhoni serves as the brand ambassador as well.

 

Launched in 2018, Khatabook has already succeeded in raising $87million in capital from investors like Sequioa Capital Surge, Falcon Edge Capital, DST Global, Capital Group, Better Capital, Tencent Holdings, and angel investors like RohitBansal and Kunal Shah.

 

In 2019, Dhoni put money into Cars24, an online car bazaar that achieved unicorn status in 2020.

 

RudraPratap Singh

 

Singh was a fast bowler for the Indian team and he has now invested in a sports technology company called SportsUno.

 

He now serves as a board member for the startup which provides sports companies with technical support, specializing in cricket, badminton, football, basketball, and table tennis.

 

ShikharDhawan

 

ShikharDhawanhas thrown his weight, and his money, behind Sarva, a fitness startup based on yoga.

 

Sarva is a yoga studio chain founded by SarveshShashi in 2020 and which has attracted funding from individuals like mark Mastrov and David Giampaolo as well as Hollywood star Jennifer Lopez, AishwaryaRai, Mira Kapoor, Alex Rodriquez, and MalaikaArora.

 

SouravGanguly

 

SouravGanguly is an former India Captain as well as the president of the Board for Control for Cricket in India.

 

Ganguly invested in ClassPlus, an edtech startup and he doubled up ass the brand ambassador for the company.

 

MukulRustagi and BhaswatAgarwal established the company in 2018, as a Delhi based startup that provided tuition centers, private tutors, and coaches with mobile-first software to set online teaching.

 

Ganguly has also invested in Flickstree, a curated video platform based in Mumbai.

 

ViratKohli

 

Kohli is a former captain of team India who has been passionate about investing in startup companies. In early 2020, Kohli invested in Digit Insurance which is an insurance tech company from Bengaluru.

 

Digit Insurance is the brainchild of PremWatsa and KameshGoyal who launched it in 2016. The company provides customers with cheaper, customized insurance policies for their travel, health, smartphone, auto, and commercial needs.

 

Kohli has also thrown his weight behind Universal Sportsbiz which is a fashion startup backed by Sachin Tendulkar. he had also invested in Sport Convo, a socialmeadia startup based in London.

 

Yuvraj Singh

 

Yuvraj Singh is not just a perennial winner in the game of cricket, but also a serial investor.

 

Yuvraj invested in Wellversed which is a healthcare startup focusing on nutrition.

 

Founders AananKhurma, RipunjayChachan, and Aditya Seth started WEllversed in 2018. The service provides users with thousands of health transformation plans that enable skin health, sexual health, weight loss, sexual health, and hair care.

 

Other companies that have enjoyed a capital injection from Yuvraj include YouWeCan, EazyDinner, Cartisan, JetSetGo, Healthians, and Buddy.

Ryan Reynolds And George Clooney Aren’t The Only Celebrities In The Liquor Game

Ryan Reynolds

Last week Ryan Reynolds made news as Aviation Gin, the gin business he hadan interest in since 2018, sold for a great deal of money. Famously, George Clooney earned a big chunk of cash a few years back when he allowed the tequila business to continue selling for much more capital. Celebrities who own alcohol companies have become quite fashionable, so let’s have a peek at what other stars are serving up common libations.

 

Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny Frankel was also a popular producer when she was one of the founding cast members of New York’s Real Housewives, beginning a bakery company in 2003 and then appearing as a judge on the short-lived The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. It was her next idea, Skinnygirl, that really took off, although the baking company didn’t last. Like in all of these deals, the figures are typically confidential so it’s impossible to pin down just how much somebody really earned, so it’s fair to assume that Frankel received a fortune.

 

George Clooney

It’s a bit easier to guess how much George Clooney earned after his tequila company, Casamigos, sold for at least $700 million to Diageo. The figure will go up to a whopping $1bn after all is finished and done. Clooney stands to earn as much as $333 million as a one-third investor of the business along with Cindy Crawford’s husband Rande Gerber and real estate tycoon Mike Meldman. This deal, plus the reality that Clooney has been one of Hollywood’s highest-paid stars for decades now, is undoubtedly the explanation that the gossip press is so quickly inventing false rumors about George plus his wife, Amal Clooney.

 

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Tequila has proven a very common form of spirit to surround celebrities with. Including Clooney, when he formed Cabo Wabo way back in the late 90s, Sammy Hager became the first celebrity-turned-tequila distiller. Rita Ora has a tequila named Próspero, Michael Jordan, and Cincoro launched in 2019 with other NBA players and officials. Teremana was introduced earlier this year by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Today Dwayne Johnson is the Ceo and chairman of a corporation that strives not only to distill a luxury quality but also to do so sustainably.

 

Diddy

While for Johnson this could sound out of the left hand, note, this is a guy who has gone from getting hurt on the college football field to rising through the ranks of the WWE to being the best paying actor in the industry. His choices are challenged at your own risk.

Sean Combs is one of the early trendsetters in the field. Combs team to create and sell the CÎROC Vodka for alcohol giant Diageo. Combs acts as the company spokesman and as its chief marketer and has been in service since its 2007 introduction.

 

Dan Aykroyd

Funnyman Dan Aykroyd always had a nightlife fondness. In 1992 Aykroyd co-founded the nightclub chain House of Blues with branches in Boston and New Orleans. LiveNation acquired the company for $350 million in 2006. The Blues Brother singer launched Crystal Head Vodka in 2007 along with painter John Alexander. Crystal Head has a very strong reputation among vodka drinkers for its distinct bottle style, crafted by co-founder Alexander, and a robust price tag of about $70 a bottle.