Slowly but surely, more sports stars are venturing into the world of becoming an investor. Thierry Henry started growing an interest in technology in media several years ago. Kobe Bryant recently announced he would launch a US$100m VC fund, focusing on technology, data companies, and media. An exciting development that may shake up VC funding as we know it.
Kobe Bryant Is Planning Ahead For The Future
Even though Kobe Bryant has retired from the NBA, he will continue to make headlines. Sports stars are transforming into beings with a wide variety of interest. More importantly, they become savvy entrepreneurs and investors over time as well. This to-be-announced US$100m VC fund by Kobe Bryant is a clear example of how these athletes are thinking ahead.
With a strong focus on technology, media, and data companies, Bryant and partner Jeff Stibel have a clear vision for their VC fund. The firm will be named Bryant Stibel, and is operating out of the Los Angeles area. With a US$100m budget, both entrepreneurs can look for new companies to invest in.
It is interesting to note both Bryant and Stibel has been invested in over a dozen companies already. However, that relationship was never a formal deal, as Kobe Bryant was still active as an NBA star at that time. Now that he is officially retired, the next chapter in his life can commence, in the form of being a venture capitalist.
Outside investors are not on the agenda for Bryant Stibel just yet. The US$100m in funds is contributed by both founders , and will be strategically invested over the coming years. However, the goal is not to use Kobe as an endorser of the companies they invest in. Adding real value to startups and companies is the primary objective of this new VC firm.
By taking the investor approach, Bryant is hedging against launching a new product or service himself that may utterly fail. The markets are very demanding right now, and without the right expertise, investing in companies makes a lot more sense. Bryant Stibel is a long-term investment fund that will not seek short-term profits by any means.
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