JAY-Z is supporting the business of one of his close friends with his latest investment. As multiple news outlets reported, the emcee and his Roc Nation entertainment company are some of the newest investors behind Fanatics, a sports merchandise company helmed by Michael Rubin. The $325 million funding round, which also includes donations from the MLB, SoftBank, Silver Lake, Eldridge, TWG Sports Media & Entertainment and Insight Partners, now brings the value of Rubin’s company to $18 billion.
Fanatics earned its reputation as an e-commerce company but is looking to expand into avenues outside of the world of merchandising. According to Chairman Rubin, who will serve as the chief executive officer, new hires have been brought onto the team to explore opportunities in the sports sector like sports gambling, gaming, new ticketing models and NFTs.
“We’ve realized we have this incredible opportunity but to really transition to a leading e-commerce company to building the leading digital sports platform,” Rubin said of Fanatics’ recent transition. “That means, as a sports fan, you go to Fanatics and get any sports product that’s important to you.” There are currently no plans of going public anytime soon.
“I think going public is an option for us that we talk about a lot, but it’s not something we’re focused on today,” said Rubin. “We’re focused on building a business. But I think we’re well-financed and have a lot of growth capital to continue to grow.”
JAY’s support of his REFORM Alliance partner comes days after his investment into Landis Technologies — a startup company that intends to help make low-income renters become homeowners. The donations from Hov, Will Smith, Cash App, Instacart and more will be used to purchase homes that will be rented out to low-income families who are working to save money, build credit, minimize debt and become eligible for mortgage.