Lionel Messi (pictured, right), the Argentine professional soccer/soccer player who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, is to invest in technology via a new vehicle to be driven by two Silicon veterans Valley.
Break is the name given to a new partnership between the player’s Messi group and Silicon Valley executives Razmig Hovaghimian and special adviser Michael Marquez.
San Francisco-based Messi Group said Play Time would be a holding company and act as the primary vehicle for Messi’s investments in sports, media and technology investments globally.
At the same time, Play Time will also consider 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, an always-on-stealth game studio for football fans that plans to launch ahead of the FIFA World Cup in November. Additionally, he made his first seed investment in Momento ACwhich auctions football shirts worn by clubs and players.
In a statement, Messi said: “I’m thrilled to extend our roots to Silicon Valley, and I’m thrilled that Play Time is collaborating with bold entrepreneurs around the world. I hope that through its success, Play Time will help many people and will have a positive impact on the world. I trust the team and our partners to achieve our goals.
The co-founder and CEO of Play Time will be Razmig Hovaghimian (photo, left). Hovaghimian previously ran Hoodline (Pixel Labs), a grassroots news platform that combined machine learning with on-the-ground reporting. He also co-founded entertainment startup Viki, which joined Rakuten for over $200 million in 2013. As a result, he joined Rakuten’s board of directors as an observer and in 2016 he was was named the company’s first entrepreneur-in-residence.
Hovaghimian said: “We’re all in, starting with building a strong bridge between 5B football fans and technology.”
He will co-run Play Time with Michael Marquez of Code Advisors, an investment bank, and Morado, a seed fund focused on early-stage investments.