Russell Westbrook, a former NBA MVP, has made a hefty bag as he’s triple-doubled his way to a historic career.
Like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and other NBA superstars, Westbrook has decided to invest some of his riches in others. The nine-time All-Star made a big strategic investment in Varo Bank, America’s first all-digital nationally chartered bank.
Westbrook, who is also an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and designer, joins Varo as an investor and advisor. Here he will have direct input into the future direction of the Bank’s impact programs inclusive of communities of color and African-American communities.
“The banking system has long ignored or completely underserved a large portion of Americans and especially those in communities of color.
Westbrook also says he’s passionate about “making lasting social change while also creating a much more creative and inclusive system.”
Giving Blacks Financial Access To Build Wealth
Westbrook admits to being more than excited and he’s prepared to collaborate with Varo on an economic revitalization for “those who’ve never been afforded the opportunity or had the access it deserved.”
Russell Westbrook Enterprises, who in this transaction was exclusively advised by Jeffries LLC, led the investment round with a whopping $63 million. This fundraiser will support Varo’s continued investment in its social impact mission, as well as further development of the product roadmap to include additional credit, savings, and transaction banking features.
By joining this movement RWE is now part of a distinguished group of Varo’s existing and high-level investors. These investors are Warburg Pincus, The Rise Fund, Gallatin Point Capital, Harbourvest Partners, and funds managed by BlackRock.
Varo itself was created to make a measurable impact on financial inequality while addressing issues of bank access, fairness, and fees that have a long, discriminatory effect on Black wealth acquisition.
With Varo, the goal from the outset was to provide premium and affordable banking services to all Americans. This founding motto inspired Westbrook to engage, with the goal of advancing this cause in underserved, undervalued communities and communities of color.
We all know about Westbrook’s accomplishments on the hardwood, but it’s his off-the-court accomplishments that garner tons of attention these days. From his unique and empowering fashion sense to his energetic personality to his unwavering love for his family.
In 2012 Russ started the Team Why Not? Foundation, dedicated to supporting community-based education and family service programs while teaching kids to never give up in the face of adversity.
While being committed to the perseverance of at-risk communities, the Why Not? Foundation implements structured educational opportunities, workforce development and accessible mental health resources.
As an NBA superstar and investor, Russell Westbrook’s business portfolio spans different areas such as banking, technology, education, media and production.
This is the next step up his ladder of success and influence.