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Armstrong co-founded Austin-based Next Ventures with Lionel Conacher, and both men are listed as the general partners of the firm in the filing. Conacher is the son and namesake of Canadian politician and professional athlete Lionel “The Big Train” Conacher. He was also a multi-sport athlete who did a short stint playing professional football in Canada.
In January, we reported on Next Ventures’ first-ever investment, in which it led a seed round raised by PowerDot, which according to a statement from the firm is “the world’s first app-based, smart muscle stimulation device, designed to provide increased wellness, recovery and performance enhancement.”
As we wrote at the time, that was not actually Armstrong’s first startup investment, but it was the first he’d done as a professional VC. Armstrong credits a $100,000 investment in Uber, through Lowercase Capital, for “saving” his family in the wake of a doping scandal that resulted in lifetime bans and a $5 million settlement on federal fraud charges. Uber was valued at approximately $3.7 million at the time, according to CNBC.
According to the recent filing, 38 unnamed investors have so far put money in the fund, which is focused on the sports, fitness, nutrition and wellness markets. The firm typically is focused on early-stage investing in companies “that have a product or service in the market and are revenue producing,” per its website. It typically puts up $1 million to $3 million as part of its initial investment.
Besides PowerDot, Next Ventures has also quietly invested in Oura, Spar, Scorched Ice and Amp Human, according to its website.
Lance is not the only former athlete dabbling in venture capital. Earlier this year, we covered how NBA players are also backing startups.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
Senior Data Reporter Jason Rowley contributed to this piece.