Investors include pro team owners, athletes, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
The sports industry leading venture capital company, SeventySix Capital, announced the initial closing of its second fund to invest in passionate entrepreneurs who are launching game-changing sports betting, esports and sports tech companies.
SeventySix Capital, led by Wayne Kimmel, Jon Powell and Chad Stender, has reshaped the sports venture capital industry. To date in 2021, SeventySix Capital has sold three portfolio companies: VSiN, the sports betting media network led by Brian Musburger, Bill Adee and Brent Musburger (sold to DraftKings – Nasdaq: DKNG), Vigtory, a next generation sportsbook led by Sam Rattner and Scott Butera (sold to FuboTV – NYSE: FUBO), and Team Whistle, a sports and entertainment media company led by John West and Michael Cohen (sold to ELEVEN SPORTS).
“This next fund is an important milestone as we continue building SeventySix Capital as the go-to investment company in the sports industry,” said Wayne Kimmel, SeventySix Capital Managing Partner. “We have proven that we have access to the deals and entrepreneurs seeking to transform the sports world and that we are able to help them build their businesses with our capital investment as well as our sports relationships, knowledge and expertise.”
SeventySix Capital added two additional professional sports team owners as investors and strategic partners in the new fund: Robert Nutting, Owner and Chairman of the board of the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball and AMBSE Ventures, a subsidiary of AMB Sports + Entertainment, a portfolio company of Arthur M. Blank, Owner and Chairman of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League and Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer. d
SeventySix Capital expanded its roster of athlete investors with the additions of Emmanuel Sanders, Super Bowl Champion and 2X Pro Bowl NFL Wide Receiver of the Buffalo Bills, Alejandro Bedoya, Captain of the Philadelphia Union, former U.S. National team player and SeventySix Capital Athlete Venture Group Co-Chair, and James Develin, 3X Super Bowl Champion and former Pro Bowl Running Back for the New England Patriots. Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame Running Back and SeventySix Capital Athlete Venture Group Chair and DeMarco Murray, former NFL All-Pro Running Back and Coach at the University of Oklahoma are return investors along with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority and multiple family offices.
“I’m excited to officially join the already dynamic team at SeventySix Capital that I have gotten to know well over the last several years through my marketing agent, Dave Maryles (Partner at Rubicon Talent),” said Emmanuel Sanders. “Given my personal passion for esports, it’s great working with Nerd Street, their esports portfolio company. We share similar values and interests in entrepreneurship, the sports business, and overall the drive to work hard to achieve lofty goals.”
SeventySix Capital’s current portfolio companies are leaders in their respective industries: C360, Diamond Kinetics, Fortē, Maestro, Nerd Street, Play by Play, ShotTracker, Swish Analytics, and U.S. Integrity.
This new fund will invest in startup companies that are disrupting and innovating the sports industry through the use of analytics, data and technology. SeventySix Capital aims to capitalize on the growing legal sports betting industry in the United States. The American Gaming Association (AGA) confirmed that U.S. commercial gaming revenue for the first seven months of 2021 nearly matched the entirety of 2020 and is 17.4 percent ahead of the same period in 2019, with 26 states (and Washington D.C.) having launched regulated sports betting. DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) believes the US online sports betting market could eventually be worth $22 billion, assuming 100 percent legalization. The fund will also make investments in companies seeking to transform the fast-growing esports and Gaming industry. Gaming analytics and market research firm Newzoo stated that close to one-third of the global population games and the U.S. Video Game industry in 2020 was larger than Music and Movies combined, according to The NPD Group.
SeventySix Capital Venture Partner and Advisory members include Tim Cabral, former CFO of the $46+ billion market cap company, Veeva Systems, Dan Mason, former CEO of CBS Radio and a National Radio Hall of Fame member, and Michael Schreiber, CEO of Playfly Sports, Co-Founder of SeventySix Capital Sports Advisory and a former executive at NBCUniversal, Comcast and Altice USA.
Steven M. Cohen from Morgan Lewis acted as SeventySix Capital’s fund formation legal counsel and Adam Berger from Duane Morris is the fund’s gaming counsel.