Mesut Ozil is moving into the world of investment joining San Francisco-based VC firm Class 5 Global, as he looks to a career beyond football.
The Arsenal midfielder joins the firm as a strategic adviser having already been an investor in Class 5 Global, according to Bloomberg.
“I am excited to shape and work on my post-football career while I am still actively playing football,” Ozil said in a statement.
Ozil’s future at Arsenal remains in doubt, with his contract due to expire at the end of the current season. He has not played for the team since March and was left out of the 25-man Premier League squad at the end of the transfer window.
He hit out at Arsenal accusing the club of disloaylty following the news he had been axed from both the Premier League and Europa League squads.
Class 5 managing partner Youcef Oudjidane has advised other English Premier League players and was introduced to Ozil via former Arsenal star Kieran Gibbs.
World-class athletes bring “a unique perspective on the future of consumer preferences,” said Oudjidane.
With more than $100m in assets under management, the VC fund invests in emerging markets. Its top team were previously founding members of expansion stage VC firm Lumia Capital.
Ozil joins a growing number of sports stars who are moving into the world of startups, including Serena Williams and David Beckham.
Last month Beckham’s e-sports company Guild Esports became the first major e-sports company to go public on the London Stock Exchange.
The former England captain is an original shareholder and will hold a 4.78 per cent stake in the company, making him the fourth-largest shareholder in the company.