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Bobby Wagner takes stake in $ 1.2 billion investment platform

Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner on the sidelines before an NFL preseason football game against the Denver Broncos on Saturday, August 21, 2021, in Seattle.

Stephen Brashear | PA

National Football League linebacker Bobby Wagner is now a shareholder in social investment platform, the parties told CNBC. The Seattle Seahawks star will also advise on the company’s program for varsity athletes.

Founded in 2019, Public is an investment platform that allows users to buy stocks and promotes financial literacy and stock market awareness. The company said it has raised $ 310 million and investors include venture capitalists Accel, Greycroft, and artist Will Smith’s Dreamers. Public is private worth $ 1.2 billion, according to Pitchbook.

Wagner publicly announced the deal on Wednesday at his weekly press conference. Public also said it will distribute free shares to Wagner fans who create an account. The terms of Wagner’s investment were not made available.

In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Wagner explained why he invested in the platform. He said he enjoys “what they’re doing, and financial literacy is something that’s important to me.”

Wagner added: “I want people to understand how money works and how people invest.” He then called Audience a “community – so you can chat with people to find out why they’re investing in certain things.”

Public co-CEO Leif Abraham told CNBC the company has more than one million users and wants to “expand education around the stock market.”

Seattle Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner # 54 reacts after a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the fourth quarter of their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Grant Halverson | Getty Images

Adding to his business

The deal is another for Wagner’s wallet. In 2020, he joined a technology fund created by Fuse Venture Partners. The company wants to invest in Seattle-based start-ups. Wagner joined as a venture capital partner alongside other investors, including former Microsoft chief executive John Connors and former Amazon chief executive Satbir Khanuja.

Wagner, 31, is in his 10th season with the Seahawks, who started the 2021 NFL season with a victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Wagner is expected to earn $ 13.1 million this season, as part of a three-year, $ 54 million extension he negotiated in 2019.

As part of the deal with Pubic, Wagner will also be an advisor to his One Team, a program for varsity athletes who can now benefit from their name, image and likeness following a court ruling. supreme of the United States this summer.

Discussing athlete decision making with money, Wagner said he wanted to see more players “get out of the mindset of giving it to someone else and letting it invest. . Instead, gain knowledge so that you can have a conversation rather than being told what to do. “

Wagner admitted that he always gets information on how to develop his wealth, including “learning how funds work and learning what it takes to have a successful fund,” he said. “I am still learning which stocks are good to invest in, how long you should hold them, versus when you should sell them. So this partnership is a platform for me too to. to learn.”

In Week 1 against the Colts, Wagner recorded a record 13 combined tackles. In week two, the Seahawks play their home opener Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. This will be the first time the Seahawks have hosted fans at Lumen Field for a regular season game since 2019. Last season, fans were restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“You certainly feel that energy, and we use it to our advantage when we face teams that we know won’t be able to. [audible] so much because communication is going to be much more difficult, ”Wagner said of the fans’ return. “It’s a weapon for us, and I’m sure the other teams feel the same.