Rick Fox has been known as an NBA star, an actor, and now, he can add startup founder.
The former Los Angeles Lakers player founded Partanna, a carbon-negative concrete company, with award-winning architect Sam Marshall in 2021, according to TechCrunch. By May 2023, Partanna raised $12 million in a pre-seed funding round. The round was led by Cherubic Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm.
“At Partanna, our mission is to delink development from pollution and build a sustainable future for all,” Partanna’s website describes. “We are pioneers of the world’s first zero-emission technology that naturally removes carbon from the atmosphere, allowing us to create innovative solutions that meet the needs of tomorrow without sacrificing the planet.”
Fox’s mission to play a role in combating climate change and creating a better world started during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was then that he became cognizant of how it specifically affected The Bahamas — where Fox’s father is from and where he currently resides. The islands had just faced Hurricane Dorian in 2019, the outlet notes.
“It got me to a point of thinking about a bigger crisis, which was one that we were facing at home in the Bahamas, which is the consistent impact of the climate and the storms that were happening on a yearly basis at a different level than what I grew up with,” Fox told TechCrunch+.
“I’ve been a part of a lot of amazing journeys and industries, from entertainment to movies and TV,” he added when speaking about his career. “I’ve been on sets with Oscar-winning actors and directors, and I’ve been on championship NBA teams. There’s been nothing more rewarding for me in my life than to be a part of this team where we’re leaving something behind.”
According to PitchBook data, Partanna’s valuation is $190 million.
What’s next for the startup? Fox is set to share the details as a speaker at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 in September.