HE is the master of the baseline, but now Andy Murray is turning his eye to the bottom line as he looks to bolster his burgeoning business portfolio.
The 28-year-old has backed three companies as unique as they are novel, ranging from a salad retail chain to a technology outfit which creates computerised models of shop interiors.
Having branched out into the hospitality industry after buying Cromlix House, an upmarket hotel and restaurant in Perthshire, the Scot’s latest ventures demonstrate his growing interest in a life beyond the tennis court.
Rather than putting his money into established businesses, Murray, who already owns management firm, 77, decided to go down the crowdfunding route and back three start-ups: Tossed; Trillenium; and the Fuel Ventures Fund.
Tossed, the most high profile of the trio, is a healthy eating retailer with branches across London, specialising in Fairtrade, free range and locally sourced produce. After launching its fundraising campaign on the Seedrs platform, it has exceeded its £750,000 target..
Trillenium is a 3D virtual reality shop company which creates simulated shopfronts for online retailers, allowing customers to browse online as if they were in a store itself. It has already received support from fashion firm ASOS and has raised over £225,000 to date.
The final company, the Fuel Ventures Fund, is a venture capital outfit founded by serial entrepreneur and investor Mark Pearson which has attracted upwards of £549,000 on Seedrs.
Though the three firms may seem unrelated, Murray said he was motivated to back them after recognising values he relies on in his day job.
“The three businesses I’ve chosen to kick off my crowdfunding investment portfolio are all in areas of industry I find interesting,” he said. “Healthy eating is something I have to be passionate about as a sportsman, so Tossed was immediately one to consider, and the other two businesses are really pushing the boundaries of technology.
“I’m hoping that I can learn something from how they are edging ahead of the competition and take that vision onto the court with me. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for these businesses and continuing to work closely with Seedrs.”
He added: “It’s important to me that I back people who I believe have the same dedication, hunger and professional standards as myself and always strive to be their best.”
It has not been disclosed how much money Murray has put into each of the three companies, but the announcement comes two months after he teamed up with Seedrs in a “long term partnership arrangement.” In an interview in Business Life, British Airways’ magazine, published in May, Murray revealed his interest in crowdfunding as a vehicle for investment
“I think it’s an exciting area and it’s one I’ve been interested in for a while,” he explained. “Being able to support British businesses and entrepreneurs in an innovative way definitely appeals to me and there are plenty of brilliant ideas and talented people out there.”
Jeff Lynn, the CEO and co-founder of Seedrs, said, “It’s great to see Andy already taking such an active interest in the businesses on Seedrs.”