Investing

NBA champ and tech investor Andre Iguodala counts Zoom's triple since IPO as best investment

Key Points
  • Three-time NBA champion Andre Iguodala said his best investment so far has been Zoom Video Communications. 
  • "They've just been getting after it. It's showing in the stock price, but I think it ... will continue to grow," Iguodala told CNBC. 
  • The 15-year NBA vet has invested in more than 40 companies and sits on the board of e-commerce firm Jumia.
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NBA champ-turned-tech-investor Andre Iguodala counts Zoom's tripling since IPO as best investment

Andre Iguodala has built a reputation that goes far beyond his on-court defense. The three-time NBA champion also has amassed an investment portfolio of more than 40 companies.

Iguodala has invested in Allbirds, Casper and Jumia, but he told CNBC on Friday his best funding decision yet is Zoom Video Communications.

"Zoom has done really well," Iguodala said on "Squawk Alley." "They've just been getting after it. It's showing in the stock price, but I think it ... will continue to grow."

Zoom, a cloud-based video conferencing and collaboration provider, went public in April at $36 per share.

It soared on its first day of trading, and despite a steep decline in the fall, its shares were around $90 Friday — a 150% increase from its IPO. Founded in 2011, Zoom has a market cap just shy of $25 billion.

Iguodala, who was recently traded to the Miami Heat from the Memphis Grizzlies, said he has grown a strong interest in enterprise software companies — not necessarily something a 15-year NBA veteran would otherwise be using on a daily basis.

"I've grown to learn and grown to put a lot of my thought and effort into learning the space and playing catch up," Iguodala, 36, said. "Being a professional athlete, you tend to not know about that space because it's not the sexy something that everyone's talking about."

"But in terms of growth, I think that's what's moving the tech sector more than anything else," he continued.

Iguodala said Datadog has been another successful investment for him, noting the New York-based software company beat analyst expectations in its quarterly results released Thursday.

Iguodala, who spent six seasons and won three titles near Silicon Valley while playing for the Golden State Warriors, is on the board of Jumia, an e-commerce company based in Lagos, Nigeria.

Upon Jumia completing its IPO in April, Iguodala became the first active major-sport professional athlete to be on the board of a public company, his business partner Rudy Cline-Thomas recently told MarketWatch.

Jumia has struggled mightily since its IPO, however. It hit its 52-week high of $49.77 shortly after its debut but was trading near $5.60 on Friday.

Iguodala has been involved in investment deals that total $294 million, according to data from Pitchbook.

The former Philadelphia 76er doesn't just focus on enterprise software. He was a Series A investor in Allbirds, the environmentally conscious shoe company, and he also invested in direct-to-consumer mattress company Casper.

Casper held its IPO last week. It opened at $14.50 per share, giving it a market cap well below its most recent private valuation, and has struggled so far. The stock was trading just above $10 on Friday.

Philip Krim, co-founder and CEO of mattress company, Casper, rings a ceremonial bell to celebrate the companies IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell, February 6, 2020.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters

Iguodala said he still believes in Casper, arguing its attempt to capture the broader "sleep economy" can deliver growth for the company.

At the same time, Iguodala said he's growing increasingly cautious around direct-to-consumer companies as investors reconsider a growth-at-all-costs mindset.

"The space has become a little crowded," he said, stressing the importance of focusing on the attributes of individual companies.

Earlier this month, Iguodala joined Comcast Ventures' Catalyst Fund as a venture partner, where he will focus on entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds. Comcast Ventures is the VC affiliate of Comcast Corporation.

Iguodala said he approaches investing with the same "intensity and focus" he does basketball, mirroring an attitude held by the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who also was a notable off-the-court investor.

Iguodala said he and Bryant shared the same agent, and the two learned from each other.

"It's for the long haul," Iguodala said. "Valuations are at an all-time high right now. We didn't just join a space for the vanity play ... but we're doing it for long-term growth and understanding the process and kind of seeing the future."

VIDEO9:2409:24
Watch CNBC's full interview with Miami Heat's Andre Iguodala

Disclosure: Comcast Corporation is the parent company of CNBC.