The teen superstar is looking to invest, but don’t draw conclusions from a pickup game.
Look, I get it. You probably clicked here because the headline seems so intriguingly random. Just like you would have clicked on a post titled: “Katie Holmes and Warren Buffett didn’t go jet-skiing.” Or maybe you just typed Justin Bieber into Google News, and are about to be disappointed that there is nothing below about his hair or love life.
A small group of you, however, recently read suggestions that the Canadian crooner is investing in start-ups alongside Consigliere, a venture capital firm co-founded by Nash and former ad industry exec Mike Duda. That’s where we at Fortune come in.
Bieber is currently being managed by a team that includes a former Bain & Co. consultant and a former biz dev executive with Brown Brothers Harriman. And I’m told that they are trying very hard to make sure that Bieber becomes the next Michael Jackson, rather than the next David Cassidy (save for the whole dead/alive thing).
Among their initiatives is a plan for Bieber to get involved with select consumer-focused start-ups that could become the next big thing — either via actual cash investments, or via a combination of cash and brand endorsement. Like what baseball player David Wright did several years ago for Vitamin Water.
All of which brings us back to Steve Nash and Mike Duda.
Back in June, the pair played in a 3-on-3 pickup basketball game at Chelsea Piers in New York City, against Bieber and some of his people (including the ex-Bain and BBH guys). Kind of a “getting to know you” sort of thing, rather than any sort of photo op.
The game went unreported until Bieber posted a video of himself beating Nash on a dribble. On the one hand, it was kind of a punk move, given that Bieber’s team got waxed in two of the three games they played that day (lost footage?). On the other hand, I’d also brag if I’d even gotten a shot off against any NBA player, let alone a former MVP.
Either way, that video is the only tangible thing that resulted from the game. Nash’s firm has not co-invested with Bieber in a start-up. And I’m not trying to be coy here, by using some sort of timing technicality. Not only has a co-investment not closed, there also is not a specific one in the pipeline. Never say never, but you certainly can say not now.
Moreover, a source close to the Bieber camp says that there has not been any investment in a “good-natured Zynga” — as one report suggested. Again, he is looking to do deals — but he’s still in the window-shopping phase.
No comment from Justin directly because, to be honest, I have no idea of how to leave a message for Justin directly…