Silver Lake's bet on sports apparel gives Fanatics a $12.8B valuation
March 25, 2021
The Chainsmokers' lead singer Andrew Taggart performs at a Fanatics Super Bowl party in 2020. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Fanatics, a licensed sports apparel giant led by billionaire Michael Rubin, has more than doubled its valuation in just a few months after another funding round led by a Silicon Valley stalwart.
- A consortium led by returning investor Silver Lake has invested $320 million in Fanatics in a deal that values the online seller of sports apparel at $12.8 billion, according to a PitchBook estimate. Existing backers like Fidelity Investments, Neuberger Berman, Thrive Capital and Major League Baseball participated in the round, which will support international expansion, possible acquisitions and Fanatics' ecommerce division.
- The news comes after Thrive Capital and Fidelity Management & Research led a $350 million round in Fanatics last August that valued the business at $6.2 billion, according to a PitchBook estimate. At the time, it was widely reported it would be the final funding round before Fanatics went public. But the company has seen its ecommerce sales jump 30% year-over-year and it's on pace to reach $3 billion of revenue in 2021, according to reports. And it's made no public filings or statements about when an IPO might occur.
- Fanatics has been aggressively expanding over the past few months. It inked a reported $1 billion joint venture with Hillhouse Capital to expand into China and also invested in Barnes & Noble Education to push its gear into college campuses. Additionally, it acquired hat maker Top of the World and WinCraft, a maker of sports accessories such as flags and pennants.
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