Date
20 September 2017
Kobe Bryant (center) announces the Bryant Stibel fund at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. Photo: Twitter
Kobe Bryant (center) announces the Bryant Stibel fund at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. Photo: Twitter

Kobe Bryant, partner unveil US$100 mln venture capital fund

Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant has unveiled a US$100 million venture capital fund vehicle focusing on technology, media and data companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Bryant, who turns 38 on Tuesday, is joined by 43-year-old entrepreneur and investor Jeff Stibel in the Los Angeles-based fund.

The two have invested in 15 companies since 2013, and decided to formalize their partnership after Bryant retired from basketball, the newspaper said.

Bryant Stibel, as their firm is called, is not looking for outside investors yet, and will invest their US$100 million over the next few years.

Its current investments include sports media website The Players Tribune, videogame designer Scopely, legal-services company LegalZoom, telemarketing-software firm RingDNA and home-juicing company Juicero, the report said.

Speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street”, Bryant said he hopes to leave something more enduring than in basketball through investing.

“Playing basketball, the focus is always on winning – winning championships, winning championships, winning championships,” CNN Money quoted Bryant as saying on the TV show.

“Now, championships come and go… But if you really want to create something that lasts generations, you have to help inspire the next generation… That’s when you create something forever. And that’s what’s most beautiful.”

On their partnership, Stibel told CNN Money that their roles differ.

“Kobe focuses on leadership, inspiration, storytelling”, while Stibel primarily handles “operations, strategic directions for companies”, and growth.

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RA/CG 

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