Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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Kobe Bryant Launches $100 Million Venture Capital Fund

Kobe Bryant Venture Fund

If you were wondering what Kobe Bryant had planned after basketball, you do not have to wonder anymore as he is starting to show us how he will keep busy. On Monday, Kobe announced his venture-capital fund, a $100 million vehicle for investing in technology, media and data companies.

Kobe is partnering with 43-year-old Jeff Stibel, a longtime entrepreneur and investor who was introduced to Mr. Bryant by a mutual friend. They have named their firm Bryant Stibel and will be based in the Los Angeles area.

The two have been invested in 15 companies since 2013, but only after Mr. Bryant’s retirement from basketball have they decided to formalize their relationship and fund.

The two men are contributing the $100 million—which they expect to invest over the next few years—and aren’t seeking outside investors yet.

Current investments include sports media website The Players Tribune, videogame designer Scopely, legal-services company LegalZoom, a telemarketing-software firm called RingDNA and a home-juicing company called Juicero.

“We don’t want to be in the business of investing in companies so someone can use Kobe as an endorser. That’s not interesting,” said Mr. Stibel, who began his career in brain research and later founded and developed tech companies. “The point is to add real value.”

Mr. Bryant, who is known for his painstaking preparation and training, said he also brings the ability to identify entrepreneurs with a robust work ethic.

“Sometimes you can spot it right away, other times not so much,” said Mr. Bryant. “It’s the inner belief that a person has that he will endure no matter what the obstacle may be. It’s that persistence, the entrepreneur doing what he or she truly believes in and truly loves to do.”

This follows the lead of many other sports stars that are now venture capitalists like Carmelo Anthony and Andre Iguodala. It's great to see these sports stars attempt to use their money wisely instead of the sad stories of wasted fortunes.

Do you think Kobe will find the same success in business that he had on the basketball court?

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  • Steven Singleton says:

    I like what I have read so far, is this solely for Data and Technology, etc. I have a Property Management Company which has grown from 1 Property after 17 yrs of hard work to now 6. From 1 Employee to 6. I would like to expand into the Security field and am looking for Investors. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

  • Frederic Wells says:

    I’ll bet that this Venture Capital fund won’t have anything to do with the rebuilding of Black Wall Street as well as improving the unemployment rate of Black people, will it?

  • Hope Henry says:

    This is awesome! Hopefully he’s conscious and caring. “CC”

  • I hope Kobe is coming in from a position of strength, that is,he has been well tutored in this new “venture” no pun intended.

    Good to say his partner has claimed he was not looking for an endorser and let that be so.

    The star has much to learn in the journey of enterprise building…a new hat he must don now even as he would be tempted to delegate.

    But he must keep his eye on his fortune wherever he sows.

    Lastly, I beleive all the legalese have been firmed up and there is a need to have a third party as an adviser to the two of them.
    A mediator from the word go.
    Because issues do come up in partnerships beyond the players. Time will tell. I wish both of them well.

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