In addition to performing his heroics on the tennis court, Andy Murray has been forging a name for himself in the business world through his many investments in various UK start-ups
Showing he has keen eye for business as well as the tennis ball, Andy Murray has made a number of investments in a wide variety of start-ups since 2013.
The 31-year-old lost what could be his last match on the court at this year’s Australian Open, but he’ll probably be pleased with the progress of the firms like healthy food chain Tossed and augmented reality company Trillenium, which he has backed.
In what is becoming a increasingly common trend among the world’s most high-profile sports stars, the former Wimbledon champion has laid the foundations for a fruitful career after he puts down the racket.
Here we profile six start-ups Murray has thrown his financial weight behind via the equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs.
Andy Murray investments
In April 2005, Vincent McKevitt opened the first outlet of what would become his healthy eating chain Tossed in Paddington, London.
It offers a buffet-style layout, allowing customers to create their own meals out of locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients.
The company was the first made-on-site store to display all its nutritional information publicly, and the first in Europe to introduce entirely cashless outlets.
Tossed now has 26 stores across the UK, half of which are located in London, and in March 2018 it bought rival healthy eating chain Vital Ingredient for an undisclosed sum.
Trillenium offers a platform to help retailers transform ordinary online stores into augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) experiences.
With more than 10 years’ experience in the AR and VR space, it received financial backing from fashion brand ASOS, which currently owns 9% of the company and is one of its biggest customers.
“Apple, for example, provides a very good showroom, which isn’t designed only for shopping but more about exhibiting the products it has.
“On the other hand, you have storage outside the cities, where goods are delivered from.
“Therefore if you want to transform that pattern online, you need to have some sort of a showroom.
“You have to provide the same spirit and experience as the showroom, but you can’t do that in a 2D way like today’s online shopping.”
“Therefore, I thought about combining a game engine with shopping and then to make a showroom available to everybody online.”
Smart lighting company Den offers the ability to turn off the lights and appliances in a home – “without compromising the original switching experience”.
Its products include various switches that can be turned on or off manually, or controlled remotely via an app.
The app comes with additional features such as indicators for how long a particular appliance has been left on for, or the ability for a user to switch off all their lights and appliances at once when out of the house.
Fuel Ventures was founded by Mark Pearson in 2014 as an early-stage tech firm investment platform.
It invests at the most lucrative early stages of technology companies that have high growth potential and substantial returns can be achieved.
The company focuses primarily on software-as-a-service (SaaS) business models, identifying and funding the early-stage seed and growth stages.
In addition to funding, Fuel Ventures provides mentors and collaboration to help the companies it invests in to expand and become more successful.
After surviving a major bicycle crash five years ago, Jeff Woolf OBE came up with the idea for the Morpher helmet.
Acting as a more convenient and dynamic alternative to the traditional bike helmet, the Morpher folds flat for portability and is made of lightweight materials that make it easy to carry.
Mr Woolf plans to make helmets for kids, snow sports, equestrian activities and for all other sports where helmets increase safety.
A prolific inventor, he was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II for services to innovation and business, and is also a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Investly is an invoice financing platform with offices in London and Tallinn.
It acts as a marketplace that connects investors to companies that need short-term capital.
Catering specifically to companies in the UK and Estonia, it has gone on to become the largest peer-to-peer lending platform for invoice financing in the latter.
In an interview with P2P Banking, CEO Siim Maivel said: “We use personal approach and always try to find the best solution for our customers and investors.
“That professional customer service constantly provides us a leverage over banks and competitors.”