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Fanatics is looking to use the funds for potential merger and acquisition opportunities across its gaming, collectibles, and betting businesses.
On Tuesday, December 6, popular sports platform Fanatics announced raising $700 million in fresh capital pushing the company’s valuations to more than $31 billion.
Source familiar with the matter spilled the details, however, Fanatics has yet to confirm the same. Interestingly, this massive fundraising comes at a time when the broader crypto market has been facing a major downturn.
One of the sources also said that Fanatics is looking to use the funds for potential merger and acquisition opportunities across its gaming, collectibles, and betting businesses.
Clearlake Capital led the latest funding round along with LionTree. Some of the other participating investors include Fidelity, Silverlake, and Softbank. Previously, Fanatics was valued at $27 billion. Earlier this year in March 2022, the company had raised a staggering $1.5 billion in a funding round led by Fidelity, BlackRock, and Michael Dell’s MSD Partners.
Despite the market slowdown, Fanatics witnessed rapid growth over the past year. From starting as an e-commerce company selling sports gear, the company has massively expanded into a sports powerhouse collecting a database of more than 94 million fans.
Fanatics Chief Executive Officer Michael Rubin has been eager to push into the company’s new businesses beyond its origins in sports merchandise. The company is targeting $8 billion in annual revenue by next year.
Key Collaborations and Expansion of Sports Platform Fanatics
Executives at Fanatics have said that they are willing to enter the sports betting sector very soon and will simultaneously explore other industries such as media and ticketing. By scooping up rights to a sports league, the company is making a heavy push into sports collectibles.
Earlier this year, Fanatics expanded into the collectibles business with a $500 million acquisition of carmaker Topps. Recently in October, the company partnered with LeBron James and Kevin Durant to purchase the iconic clothing brand Mitchell and Ness.
Additionally, Fanatics has also ventured into collegiate sports after signing a long-term deal with Nike. Together, the two players will work on manufacturing college sports fan apparel. In November, they also signed a deal with the Japanese baseball team Tokyo Giants.
Fanatics is now gearing up to enter the sports gambling market in early 2023 which is an already crowded market. Furthermore, the company is also planning for its initial public offering (IPO) wherein CEO Michael Rubin explained the company’s growth plans to more than 90 internet, retail, and gaming analysts from various Wall Street firms.