NFL star Bobby Wagner joining former Microsoft, Amazon execs in Seattle-based tech fund

Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner #54 of the Seattle Seahawks looks on prior to their game against the Baltimore Ravens at CenturyLink Field on October 20, 2019 in Seattle, Washington.

Abbie Parr | Getty Images

While the National Football League tries to plot its 2020 regular-season impacted by Covod-19, star linebacker Bobby Wagner is busy making post-football plans.

The Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowler is joining a new tech fund established by Fuse Venture Partners. The firm says its focus is “early-stage, venture capital fund investing in Seattle-based seed and Series A companies.” Wagner is joining as a venture partner alongside other investors, including former Microsoft exec John Connors and former Amazon executive Satbir Khanuja.

Fuse said it wants to help a new wave e-commerce companies “that are reinventing the modern economy with software.” In a statement to CNBC, Wagner echoed that mission, adding Fuse, led by general partner Kellan Carter, is committed “to working relentlessly with innovative people to help them achieve success.” 

“It’s this commitment that uniquely positions us as the best partner for the next generation of companies reimagining and reinventing how work is done through AI, machine learning and automation software,” Wagner said.

“Seattle sits at the epicenter of the innovation driving enterprises’ digital transformation efforts,” said Carter. “There’s a booming, untapped and thriving ecosystem of emerging entrepreneurs in the region.”

Amazon, the dominant force in e-commerce, is based in Seattle, meaning Fuse would be investing in potential Amazon competitors.

Wagner is the second NFL star in the last week to get involved in the e-commerce space. Former Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch announced his partnership with Fanatics in a deal that will see the e-commerce company operate Lynch’s Beast Mode apparel website.

Wagner, who famously negotiated his $54 million deal with the Seahawks in 2019, also became an investor in Denali Therapeutics in 2014 and joined Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant in venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz’s Cultural Leadership Fund.

Wagner is scheduled to join CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Wednesday to discuss his new venture.

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