Visiting Dignitaries

Lance Armstrong Follows Leo DiCaprio’s Lead, Invests in NYC Startup

Quick, somebody make Lance a What Would Fred Wilson Do bracelet.
screen shot 2012 01 31 at 8 55 29 am e1328018304657 Lance Armstrong Follows Leo DiCaprios Lead, Invests in NYC Startup

Two posts and counting!

Silicon Alley syndicates aren’t the only folks who like to invest with their friends. The New York Post reports that Lance Armstrong has taken a stake in Mobli, the New York-based social networking startup that raised $4 million from Leonardo DiCaprio and other “high-profile” investors in October.

The seven-time Tour de France winner, who is already posting photos to the site, “will use his fame and legendary drive to help the company gain traction in the competitive field of mobile apps,” the paper says. Hey if @mrskutcher can drive design sales, why shouldn’t a celebrity cyclist help with your mobile strat.

Mobli’s spokeswoman tells Bloomberg than Mr. Armstrong’s stake is smaller than Mr. DiCaprio’s and promised that a formal announcement would be coming in a couple days. Along with the investment, Bill Stapleton, Mr. Armstrong’s agent, will join Mobli’s board of advisers. Can a retroactive cofounder title for a starlet’s makeup artist be far behind?

Moshiko Hogeg, Mobli’s founder, tells the Post that he became interested in working with Mr. Armstrong because the sports star was among the first to gain 1 million Twitter followers.

Mr. Hogeg has eschewed the venture capital route for the Hollywood touch. He claims six VCs offered to join in the round of funding in which Mr. Armstrong invested.

“It doesn’t mean we won’t go with one VC in the end,” he said. “Right now we just can’t justify it, and so far we are getting along great with investors whose added value is not in the tech world.”

In the meantime, Mr. Hogeg might want to clue his celeb financiers into the eating-your-own-dogfood school of business. The last post from Leo is two weeks old, the one before that (mainly quasi-promotional shots from movie sets or the red carpet) was from two months ago.
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