It is pretty unique that athletes hedge some of their investments in Web 2.0 startups. Maybe WePlay will start a new trend because they have received $8.6 million in Series B funding from Deep Fork Capital, FirstMark Capital, Derek Jeter (MLB New York Yankees Captain and Shortstop), LeBron “King” James (NBA Cleveland Cavaliers Small Forward), and Peyton Manning (NFL Indianapolis Colts Quarterback).
This isn’t the first time that these three athletes invested in WePlay. The three athletes along with Ron Conway provided WePlay with $870,000 in seed capital. FirstMark Capital, Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs Power Forward), Brandi Chastain (former San Jose CyberRays soccer player), and Summer Sanders (Olympic swimmer gold medalist) participated in WePlay’s $3.5 million Series A round.
WePlay is a niche social network with a heavy focus on youth sports. WePlay features include calendars, groups, profiles, tournament and camp tracking, photo and video uploading, and blogging.
WePlay was founded by Steve Hansen, the former CFO and COO of Yahoo!’s GeoCities. Rick Heitzmann, the Chairman of WePlay and Managing Director at FirstMark Capital, stated that he wants WePlay to become “the operating system of you sports.”