Sports merchandise giant Fanatics has reportedly raised a further US$350 million as part of a Series E funding round that sees the company’s valuation soar from US$4.5 billion to US$6.2 billion.
The injection of capital, which closed yesterday, is reportedly the last round of financing for Fanatics as a private company, with the online retailer poised to go public in the near future, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The investment round was led by financial services company Fidelity and Thrive Capital, with participation from investment firms Franklin Templeton Investments and Neuberger Berman Group.
Citing sources close to the deal, the WSJ said Fanatics initially wanted to raise $250 million but the deal was oversubscribed, leading to the final $350 million.
Sports Business : Fanatics generated revenue of around $2.5 Billion in 2019
The company plans to use the new funding to accelerate its direct-to-consumer commerce strategy, through additional rights acquisitions and mergers.
The increase valuation of the company will benefit American football’s National Football League and baseball’s Major League Baseball, which collectively invested $150 million in the firm in 2017. Other Fanatics investors include e-commerce giant Alibaba and Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group.
Florida-based Fanatics, which is led by executive chairman Michael Rubin, has raised around $1.5 billion since 2011, expanding rapidly by signing long-term e-commerce and merchandising deals with a host of major sports properties within the US and internationally.
Last year, it generated revenues of around $2.5 billion and has since seen its e-commerce operations rise 30 per cent this year during the coronavirus pandemic shutdown of sports.