Australian cricketer Steve Smith is enjoying a purple patch of form over in England competing in the Ashes.

In 2018, the star batsman was banned following the disastrous "sandpaper" ball-tampering scandal. Since returning, Smith has been largely responsible for Australia's victory against England in the first match of the Ashes series last week.

While the former skipper's performance will live long in the memory for Aussie cricket fans, Smith actually may have laid the groundwork for his biggest victory way back in 2015 - and it was in business.

According to Australian Financial Review (AFR), Smith invested A$100,000 ($104,820) in the largely unknown Aussie mattress startup Koala in 2015 for a 10 per cent stake in the company.

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Steve Smith's stake in stake Koala is estimated to be worth A$12.18 million. Photo / Getty Images
Steve Smith's stake in stake Koala is estimated to be worth A$12.18 million. Photo / Getty Images

As part of the deal, Smith became the company's brand ambassador.

Since Smith's investment in the fledgling company, Koala has managed to amass some 200,000 customers and in July was valued at around A$150 million.

That success makes Smith's stake now worth an astounding A$12.18 million, pushing his net worth up to A$31 million, as estimated by the AFR.

That's up from A$27 million in 2018, despite the ball-tampering scandal costing Smith his captaincy, as well as an estimated A$5 million in earnings last year.

Amazingly, AFR believes Smith has earnt more from his investment in Koala than he has from cricket altogether.