Drive by DraftKings, the multi-stage venture capital firm investing in sports tech and entertainment companies, has recently announced that it has raised its first venture fund of $60 million, which is backed by high-profile owners, organizations, investors and athletes across the sports and entertainment industries.
Raised in just six months, the fund is oversubscribed by 20% with notable investors including: The Kraft Group (New England Patriots), Jones family (Dallas Cowboys), DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG), Todd Boehly (Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Sparks), Madison Square Garden Sports Corp., Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., Arctos Sports Partners, and Mike Gordon (Fenway Sports Group).
“We are proud and excited to have assembled this roster of prominent investors. Not only do they embrace our vision to facilitate growth and innovation in sports tech and entertainment, they also provided the capital to join our mission,” said Meredith McPherron, Drive by DraftKings CEO and Managing Partner. “Through our relationship with DraftKings, as well as other iconic brands in sports and gaming via our limited partners and advisors, we are well positioned to accelerate the most ambitious new ventures at the frontier of these industries.”
Drive by DraftKings supports entrepreneurs advancing the future of play and performance. The firm has identified four investment themes across the industry: human performance, sports and gaming, media and fan engagement, and data analytics and monetization.
Drive by DraftKings’ current portfolio includes: Cardless, Elite HRV, Evaluate.Market, Guidesly, Just Women’s Sports, Muxy, Papaya Gaming, PickUp, StreamLayer, Tappp, Toya, VidMob, and WHOOP.
Drive by DraftKings’ newly created All-Star Network is designed to support the firm’s investment strategy. Among its decorated members are: three-time Olympic ice hockey medalist Hilary Knight, 11-time NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, retired professional tennis player James Blake, Theo Epstein (MLB and Arctos Sports Partners Executive), Sam Kennedy (Boston Red Sox President and CEO), Andy Miller (Sacramento Kings Co-Owner and NRG Esports Founder/CEO), Sanyin Siang (Executive Director of the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics at Duke University), Julie Uhrman (Angel City FC Co-Founder and President), and YouTube gamer Elliott Watkins.
Most All-Star Network members are also invested in Drive by DraftKings’ first venture fund.
“Technology is changing sports and entertainment so rapidly and if you aren’t close to that change, you’re falling behind,” said Epstein. “I joined Drive by DraftKings’ All-Star Network to be connected to the people shaping the future of the industry.”
“On and off the ice, I do everything I can to help level the playing field and promote women’s sports,” said Knight. “Joining the All-Star Network is another way I can actively support the trailblazing entrepreneurs in our industry through their game-changing startups and technologies in sports tech.”
According to MarketsandMarkets, the global sports technology market (including devices, smart stadiums, sports analytics and esports) was valued at $17.9 billion in 2020 with some experts forecasting it to eclipse $40 billion by 2026. According to a Zion Market Research study, the global sports betting market (including retail and online) was estimated at $131.1 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $180 billion by 2028. According to Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report, the global online games market (which includes PC, console, mobile and tablet games) is expected to generate $175.8 billion of revenue in 2021 and to exceed $200 billion in 2023.