Louis Saha has expanded his tech startup, Axis Stars, to Los Angeles, California, in a bid to capitalise on the wealthy US sports market.
Axis Stars is a platform that provides athletes with contract management tools so they can avoid financial pitfalls during their career and once they’ve retired.
The platform is already used by the likes of Didier Drogba, Mo Farah, Gaizka Mendieta, Phil Neville and Florent Malouda, as well as NBA players such as Nicolas Batum, Boris Diaw and Rony Turiaf.
The company, which has raised over $500,000 in seed capital, said the expansion to the US was driven by an influx of queries from US-based athletes, including several playing in the NFL and MLS.
“Regardless of where in the world you are, players are constantly getting scammed as the market is a lot more corrupt than many people realise,” said Saha.
“To put an end to this, not only are we giving our members access to key advisers, in a move to tackle the major issue of post-retirement bankruptcy, but also, we allow them to rate the performances of agents and other companies and providers they’ve worked with, in order to create a more transparent industry, in the same way that TripAdvisor has done for the travel sector.”
The contract management tools include everything from club contracts to access to financial advisers and insurance companies, vetted agents, lawyers and sponsorship agreements, with the goal to help players manage their careers more efficiently. Axis Stars claims this is particularly important for young players that may be oblivious to what they are about to sign.
The US expansion is being coordinated with Inovexus, a California-based firm that helps European companies in the digital, life sciences and IT sectors to launch, get funded and arrive rapidly at an exit event (acquisition or IPO) within the California startup ecosystem.
Saha's cofounder, Patrice Arnera, added: “To support our rapid expansion stateside, we're currently raising capital that will go towards developing the platform further and being able to properly cater to the sports professionals that want to join the Axis Stars community.”
Alongside the US launch, Axis Stars said it is rolling out an an e-commerce solution that will give players and sport stars access to exclusive and bespoke products and services that can be bought at a discount, as well as special trips and partnership opportunities.