NBA star and recent retiree Kobe Bryant unveiled the start of his $100 million venture capital fund Monday, which will focus on media, technology, and data, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Bryant, along with friend and venture capitalist Jeff Stibel, announced their firm’s name, Bryant Stible, based out of Los Angeles. The partners contributed the lump sum, which will be invested over the next few years. Stibel and Bryant have yet to tap outside investors, The Journal reports.
Stibel is the vice chairman of Dun & Bradstreet, chairman of brain implant system BrainGate, and former president of Web.com, according to ESPN.
Stibel and Bryant have worked together before, investing in over 15 companies since 2013, but formalized their business relationship after Kobe’s retirement.
“This is one of my passions,” Bryant told CNBC after he rang the opening bell Monday at the New York Stock Exchange. “We are one gear, 100 percent laser-focused, and here we go.”
Current investments include The Players Tribune, a website focused on sports media, video designer Scopely, a legal services company called LegalZoom, RingDNA, a telemarketing software company, and a home-juicing company named Juicero, according to The Journal.
Stibel and Bryant said their relationship is based on a mutual admiration of hard work and their distinct business acumen.
“We don’t want to be in the business of investing in companies so someone can use Kobe as an endorser,” Stibel said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “That’s not interesting. The point is to add real value,” he said.
Bryant joins other NBA legends who have jumped into the venture capital pool, including Shaquille O’Neal, Carmelo Anthony, and Magic Johnson.
SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal, ESPN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter
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