Professional golfer Rory McIlroy has overcome some financial setbacks to become a minor business titan.
- Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy is a big winner when it comes to golf, but he wins big with his many business ventures as well.
- McIlroy’s venture capital firm Symphony Ventures has generated huge returns for the pro golfer. His top five investments, according to CrunchBase, are:
- LetsGetChecked $150 million
- Kaia Health $101 million
- Kin Insurance $69.2 million
- Puttery $10 million
- Golf Genius Software $5 million
Why it’s important
Rory Mcllroy began his professional golf career at 17 years old—leaving school to join the big leagues. It was a short amount of time before he began racking in big money with his golf victories.
The Irishman worked with two different management firms, who he felt steered him wrong—getting him out of the PGA Tour and directing him toward some bad investments, costing him millions.
He left them and began looking to other places to invest the big checks. In 2019, he created Symphony Ventures, a venture-capital firm interested in emerging companies, with its headquarters settled in Dublin, Ireland.
“I had gotten to a point where I had done financially well on the golf course. We were looking to do something different,” he said in a 2021 interview.
Symphony Ventures took off quickly and in its first two years secured 14 big investments. Considering Mcllroy’s deep roots in sports, it’s no surprise that most of the venture’s investments have been sports-related.
A large, profitable investment was in the fitness tech company—Whoop. The company creates wearable fitness trackers that measure strain, recovery, and sleep. You might have even noticed Mcllroy sporting one of the devices while competing.
McIlroy invested in the company, along with fellow golfer Justin Thomas, during some early money rounds in 2020 when Whoop was valued at $1.2 billion. Just a year later, Whoop’s next round of funding saw the company’s valuation grow to some $3.6 billion in August 2021, according to Irish Mirror writer Eamon Doggett.
Mcllroy’s venture capital also invested in a one-on-one digital fitness training platform that pairs its clients with top coaches called Future.
Another investment was in a company that sends medical tests right to your door—LetsGetChecked. This company highly benefited from the pandemic as customers could easily order tests for COVID-19, fertility, diseases and much more straight to their home.
In a recent funding round LetsGetChecked raised $71 million and is predicted to keep soaring in value.
McIlroy has also invested in the Germany-based company Kaia Health—which makes an application to aid in the treatment of muscular pain issues, Troon—the world’s largest golf management company with more than 640 courses on its books, and Golf Genius Software—which offers software solutions to golf courses around the world.
His latest venture is a partnership with fellow golfer, Tiger Woods. The two created TMRW Sports which Woods says is a company striving to “harness technology to bring fresh approaches to the sports we love.”
The goal of the company is to capitalize on the future of sports entertainment.
Estimates say with all of Mcllroy’s ventures he is worth about $250 million, but it is expected to rise considerably in the next few years.
backing up a bit
Mcllroy isn’t the only athlete trying his hand in the business world. Big names such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Chris Weber, and Russell Westbrook have also been venturing out as well.
Both Jordan and James have found success through partnerships and endorsements with various companies. Both have made successful investments, and Jordan owns a car dealership alongside several restaurants. Weber makes his living now through investments in real estate, sports, and entertainment.
Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook has forged success in the advertising industry with his company—Russell Westbrook Enterprises.