×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NFL Star Russell Wilson’s Celebrity-Content App Startup Raises $9 Million From Jeff Bezos, Others

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks quarterback and Super Bowl champ, is now a tech and media entrepreneur — and he’s got some deep-pocketed business partners.

Wilson is the founder and exec chairman of TraceMe, which has released the beta of an app designed to connects fans with their favorite celebrities, athletes, and artists.

TraceMe has raised $9 million in Series A funding, led by venture-capital firm Madrona Venture Group, along with a number of individual investors including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (through his Bezos Expeditions investment company), Chad Hurley (co-founder of YouTube), Joe Tsai (co-founder of Alibaba), Mike Mahan (president of Dick Clark Productions), and Kenny Dichter (founder of Wheels Up).

Leading the Seattle-based company is CEO Jason LeeKeenan, former exec at Hulu, Disney’s corporate strategy and development group, and zulily.

Wilson will be the first featured celeb on the platform, with more personalities promised to be added soon. “I’ve dreamed about launching TraceMe for a long time and I am excited to finally see it come to fruition,” he said in a statement. At the start of the NFL’s 2017-18 season, he added, “TraceMe is going to help me on that journey by providing me with a direct line to my most passionate supporters who drive my motivation throughout this amazing season.”

Wilson’s content on TraceMe will include “DangerTalk,” Wilson’s weekly podcast with his take on the most recent Seahawks game plus personal views on family, faith, and relationships; “Legends,” in which Wilson sits down to talk with sports superstars such as Jim Brown, Chris Berman, Laila Ali, Bill Russell and Steve Kerr; and “Training with Decker Davis,” an instructional series with Wilson’s personal trainer.

The TraceMe beta is available for iPhone on Apple’s App Store worldwide. Initially, the app is free but company execs see an opportunity for a subscription model down the line.

“Our vision for TraceMe is to define a new category for superfan engagement,” said CEO LeeKeenan. “When the floodlights are shut off at a big game or a sell-out show, the smartphone offers the best place for a superfan to immerse themselves in the worlds of their favorite artists, athletes, and entertainers.”

Watch TraceMe’s launch video:

More Digital

  • Snap-Derek-Andersen-Lara-Sweet

    Snap Fills Out Senior Ranks With CFO, HR Chief Appointments

    Snap CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel has turned in house to fill the company’s CFO and head of human resources positions, completing an overhaul of the Snapchat parent’s executive ranks after a series of high-level departures. The company announced the appointment of Derek Andersen, currently Snap’s VP of finance, as chief financial officer. Andersen will [...]

  • Oculus Quest Gets Netflix App, But

    Oculus Quest Will Have Netflix, but Not Plex or HBO

    Facebook’s new Oculus Quest headset is launching with a number of high-profile gaming titles this Tuesday. Media apps on the other hand will take a bit of backseat, with some key players sitting this latest headset out for the time being. First, the good news for anyone who has pre-ordered the headset: One of the [...]

  • Lester Holt

    Chris Berend Tapped to Oversee NBC News' Digital Efforts

    Chris Berend, an executive who has been overseeing digital video for CNN and helped launch Great Big Story, a streaming-video site aimed at younger audiences, will jump to NBC News to lead its digital efforts. Berend will replace Nick Ascheim, who will move into a new role that is described as “improving digital and product [...]

  • Vogue, Conde Nast Entertainment Make Robert

    Robert Semmer Joins Condé Nast Entertainment & Vogue as Vice President of Video

    Condé Nast Entertainment and Vogue have named former Vice and Fader video executive Robert Semmer as their new vice president of video. Semmer will be based in New York and report to Croi McNamara, senior vice president of programming for Condé Nast Entertainment. “Anna and I are thrilled to welcome Robert to our award-winning video [...]

  • CEO of T-Mobile John Legere (L)

    FCC Chairman Backs T-Mobile, Sprint Merger With New Conditions

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave a thumbs-up to T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposed $26 billion merger, after the companies committed to enhanced 5G buildout commitments and agreed to spin off Sprint’s Boost Mobile. T-Mobile and Sprint first announced their plans to merge in April 2018, looking to combine forces to take on industry leaders AT&T and [...]

  • Tyffon Raises $7.8M, Prepares Launch of

    Disney-Backed VR Startup Tyffon Raises $7.8 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Disney-backed immersive media startup Tyffon has raised a new $7.8 million Series A round of funding. The company wants to use the new cash infusion for an international expansion that includes the opening of a Santa Monica, Calif.-based virtual reality (VR) center. “We will also accelerate our IP licensing activities with major Hollywood studios,” Tyffon [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content