A startup community from Los Angeles is getting along with the rest of the world in mourning the sudden death of NBA superstar, investor and entrepreneur Kobe Bryant who died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., which occurred shortly before 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Definition of an ‘all-rounder’!
According to the reports, Kobe Bryant along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant and seven other passengers were present on the helicopter. They were traveling to Mamba Academy, Bryant’s basketball training facility. The report suggests there were no survivors from the crash.
The 41-year-old NBA All-Star was the true definition of an ‘all-rounder’; he was an Olympic medalist, Oscar winner and a proud father of four children. He was most known for his accomplishments on the basketball court; however, at the same time he engineered himself as an entrepreneur and investor whose grasp was far beyond the Los Angeles area that he called ‘home’.
TechCrunch reported that Mark Suster, managing partner of the Los Angeles-based venture capital firm Upfront Ventures wrote, “Kobe was loved in Los Angeles.” Adding more Suster wrote, “He not only played at the peak of his sport but everything he did was quality from the film, to books to philanthropy. It’s truly a sad day in LA.”
Back in 2013, Bryant rolled out his venture career with serial entrepreneur and partner Jeff Stibel, according to Crunchbase. The pair created a mixture of early and late-stage investments in Los Angeles-based companies like Scopely, LegalZoom, The Honest Company, RingDNA, DyshApp, FocusMotion, Represent and Art of Sport.
Just Last year, the investment firm widened with an investment of $1.7 billion vehicles that was rolled out in partnership with Permira, the private equity fund, according to a report in USA Today.
“We are mourning this terrible loss and still searching for the words,” wrote Mattias Metternich, co-founder of Bryant’s grooming startup, Art of Sport, in an email. “As a founding partner to [Art of Sport], he was woven into the very fabric of our company and its vision and DNA. As a mentor, we drew on his wisdom, passion and drive everyday… In the short term, our thoughts and hearts are with him, Gianna and his surviving family.”
The co-founder of The Honest Company, Jessica Alba, went to Twitter earlier in the day to express her reaction to the news along with an official account of Scopely that also shared a reaction.
During his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, the 18-time All-Star and the MVP established records and fostered the team to get to five national championships. Playing together with Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant supported the Lakers in making it one of the dominant teams in the NBA in the early 2000s.
“Kobe was the rare combination of God-given talent on-and-off the court with a competitive athlete mindset that was unrivaled to the point it was called the ‘mamba mentality’. Whatever he put his focus turned into excellence, whether it was an NBA championship, an Oscar, entering the VC game or (most importantly) fatherhood,” wrote Upfront Ventures general partner Kobie Fuller. “This loss is shocking and puts into perspective how precious our moments on this earth really are. My heart goes out to the Bryant family during this incredibly difficult time.”
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