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NBA star Lonzo Ball on why he invested in Web3 platform Heir

June 26, 2022, 12:00 PM UTC

NFTs, Web 3.0, blockchain—you know all the buzzwords these days. And a lot of new startups are striving to monetize one (or all of the above) in a unique way that will especially appeal to millennial and Generation Z consumers.

One way to do that is with celebrity investors. Heir, a new Web3 platform touting to offer “culture creators” with more control, recently announced its first athlete membership NFT collection with Chicago Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball, who is also an investor in the company.

Ball recently shared more with Fortune about his decision to invest in the company.

  • Startup: Heir
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Year founded: 2021
  • Valuation: Declined to disclose
  • Investment level: $10.6 million seed round
  • Number of employees: 17
  • Other major investors: Thrive Capital, Solana Ventures, Alexis Ohanian, and New York Knicks executive vice president and senior basketball adviser William Wesley

Why he invested, in his own words

I met HEIR’s cofounder Jeron Smith years ago as we both grew up in Chino Hills. As an athlete who is always looking for new and different ways to connect with my fans, I was immediately drawn to the platform and business model when Jeron and the founding team presented it to me, especially with the proliferation of Web3 in the sports industry.

I strongly believe the future of fan engagement will integrate Web3 solutions, and HEIR provides a digital platform for me and other athletes to build and monetize our brands on the blockchain. For sports fans, HEIR offers the opportunity to transform Web2 sports fans to Web3 owners—something I believe will ultimately elevate and enhance the overall fan experience.

I am not only investing, but will be actively participating in the platform to co-create new content, products, and experiences with my supporters. I’m excited to share my life with fans in a new way.

This is an installment of Why I Invested, a series featuring famous investors from all different backgrounds and industries, revealing what inspired them to invest their own money in a new business.