Last week, at the age of 33, Omri Casspi announced his retirement from professional basketball. However, the former NBA player didn’t wait long to kick off another new post-basketball career, alongside his successful podcast. Casspi is using his fortune to invest in early-stage startups. Recently, the man considered one of the most successful Israeli basketball players of all time, put on his angel hat, investing in Israeli startup Boards’s $6.5 million funding round, led by Bessemer.
The marketing platform that won the trust of a few intriguing investors
Boards (previously Bliss) develops a dual interface platform for marketers. The first one is a content management system, where sales and marketing managers organize and create supportive material, sales call scripts, tutorials, and additional tools to help streamline the sales process. Boards’ second development is a mobile app (iOS & Android) for field agents. The app provides salespeople with all the information, content and tools they need to succeed; even helping new recruits to easily navigate the deep waters, with customer facing engagement tools.
Among other features, the app includes a keyboard plugin, which sales agents can use to send potential customers pre-made messages in one click -- such as Frequently Asked Questions, product images, etc.
Boards wasn’t always the platform it is today. In the past, it was used as a second income channel, helping users act as distributors for brands via chat and social media apps. Ori Magen, COO and co-founder, explains in a chat with Geektime that Boards did change direction -- but refuses to call it a pivot. “We began realizing our plan about a year ago, building tools for those who earn through distributed sales. Our vision was to offer them at some point a new sales channel. While working with our pilot partners, and after our launch in January -- we realized that our tools provide immense value, even more than we originally thought.” This was the reason that Boards moved from regular people looking for a second income to sales and marketing managers of existing businesses.
Boards was founded by Magen and CEO Tal Adler -- a former executive at Gett. Magen says that the company’s investors were the ones to make the connection with Casspi. “They believed that he could be incredibly valuable for us, being intertwined in the social media world, and connected with various influencers in the U.S. After meeting him, we quickly understood he’s got serious vision and aspirations in the tech sector, in addition to creating incredible value for us in the fields we’re pursuing,” says Magen.
Alongside Casspi, the $6.5 million round also saw participation from a number of intriguing investors -- including Global Founders Capital -- invested in Facebook, Slack, and LinkedIn -- which invested $1 million in Boards’ first round during the pandemic outbreak; and Bessemer Venture Partners, who led the current round.