Retired basketball player Kobe Bryant has set up a $100 million venture capital fund that will make investments in technology, media, and data companies, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
Bryant has teamed up with tech entrepreneur and investor Jeff Stibel to launch Bryant Stibel, which will be based in Los Angeles.
They are not currently seeking outside funding.
The two have already invested in 15 businesses together since 2013, including the sports media website The Players Tribune, the telemarketing software company RingDNA, and the video game design firm Scopely.
They hope the fund will offer a complementary combination of their skillsets. Stibel is perhaps best known as the former chief executive of the public tech company Web.com. He has also founded numerous other tech and marketing companies and is a brain scientist.
Bryant on the other hand, is expected to offer his creative and marketing expertise — he even designed the Bryant Stibel logo himself.
In an interview with The Journal, Bryant noted that people may draw the comparison between his fund and that of New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who set up early-stage investment fund Melo7 Tech Partners, or of his former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Shaquille O'Neal, who has also made a series of investments in technology and media startups.
Bryant said: “I think it’s interesting that the immediate reaction from people would be competitiveness between myself and others. I’m more interested in how I can help Shaq, Melo, or [NBA player Andre] Iguodala.”
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