Shaq has always been a hero on the court–now, he’s a champion in Silicon Valley as well.
During a fireside chat at TechCrunch’s 2023 Disrupt Conference, the multi-millionaire shared details about his role as lead investor in Edsoma, a kid-focused AI-powered reading platform. During the conversation, O’Neal stressed how a belief that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos shared led him to invest in the company.
“If you invest in things, you are going to change people’s lives,” TechCrunch says Bezos has shared in the past, and clearly, O’Neal has taken that adage to heart.
“I went to a conference in ‘97 or ‘98 and I heard a beautiful bald-headed man by the name of Jeff Bezos say if you invest in things, it’s going to change people’s lives,” O’Neal said. “So when Kyle came into the office and he started talking about children, about education and his love for children, I knew it was going to be a great fit. And when I heard Jeff Bezos say that, I started investing in things that’s gonna change people’s lives. And that’s been great for me, and I don’t like to sit up here like I’m an expert, but that has always been my style.”
The Edsoma investment investment is just one of the many smart moves Shaq has made in growing his well-rounded portfolio which includes Google and Apple.
“I was at Four Seasons, I was eating lunch and there were four distinguished gentleman sitting there playing with their kids and the kids recognize me and they’re playing with me,” he told the Disrupt audience. “Basically, I’m doing a babysitting job and one gentleman says ‘I want to talk about this company called Google’ and just talking about search engines and ‘you’ll be able to type in anything,’ and I was like, ‘That sounds good.’ We had a meeting with them and it looked good and I put some money in and I forgot about it. And then the newspaper told me how much I made and I couldn’t believe how much I made.”