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Sapphire Sport Again Convenes Big Names in Sport, Business and Entertainment to Raise Oversubscribed $181M Second Fund Platform taking AUM to ~$300M(1)
LPs include City Football Group, Sinclair, AEG, MSG Sports, Bank of Montreal and Team Ownership Across Major Global Sporting Leagues
New Fund Vehicle to Focus on Early-Stage Tech Companies Tapping into the Next Generation of Consumer Behavior
NEW YORK, January 25, 2023-- Sapphire Sport, an early-stage investment platform at the intersection of technology, sport, media and entertainment, has convened several new investors to join existing LPs from their first fund platform to announce an oversubscribed $181M second fund vehicle (2) backed by major names across sport, business and media. Following its $117M initial fund vehicle (3) announced in January 2019, which includes investments in companies like Overtime, Tonal and Fevo, this new effort will continue to focus on Seed to Series B companies powering the next generation of consumer behavior across media, digital commerce, gaming, health and human performance, culture and community.
Co-founded and led by Doug Higgins and Michael Spirito, Sapphire Sport pairs technology investment experience with a unique LP base of iconic brands across global sport, business and media. Participation includes returning investors like anchor City Football Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, adidas, Anschutz Entertainment Group, Bank of Montreal, Intersect Capital, the ownership of the Indiana Pacers, WISE Ventures (the investment fund of the Wilf family), Jeff Vinik (owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning) and Skyland Partners, among others. New investors include Madison Square Garden Sports, Arctos Partners, Pentland Group, Gametime Capital, Stephen Kaplan (Chairman of Nalpak Capital), Stephen Pagliuca (Co-Chairman of Bain Capital, co-owner of the Boston Celtics), David Blitzer (owner of several teams) and CAZ Investments, among others.
"When we launched Sapphire Sport in 2019, we believed that the sport, media and entertainment industries would be better served by an institutional investment approach to the sector, one that brought the experience and partnership of sport and entertainment stakeholders to venture capital. Alongside our LPs, we believe we have built Sapphire Sport into a leading partner for early-stage companies at the intersection of technology and these large markets. We couldn't be prouder of this group of investors, and we believe that they would agree that harnessing new technologies to better understand the next generation of consumers has never been more important," said Michael Spirito and Doug Higgins, Co-Founding Partners of Sapphire Sport.
"As a Founder I know that bringing on the right investors isn't just about capital, it's about support and partnership during critical times. Over the past four years I have felt that support from Sapphire Sport during the best times, but especially during the most challenging times, and we at Overtime are proud to partner with them as we continue to build great things," said Dan Porter, CEO of Overtime.
"The team at Sapphire Sport backed Fevo's vision to bring social commerce to the mainstream early, and they have been invaluable partners as we have successfully scaled the business over the past several years," said Ari Daie, CEO of Fevo. "We have navigated through some very tricky markets together, and Sapphire Sport has added value and been extremely supportive every step of the way."
Statements above have been provided by executives of portfolio companies in which Sapphire Sport has invested. Statements reflect endorsements related the nature and type of management services provided by Sapphire as an operating partner and do not constitute testimonials to Sapphires' investment advisory services whereby no inference to the contrary should be made. Sapphire has provided no compensation related to such endorsements.
About Sapphire Sport:
Sapphire Sport is an early-stage investment platform at the intersection of technology, sports, media, entertainment and culture. Sapphire Sport pairs technology investment experience with a unique LP base of iconic brands across global sport, media and entertainment. With ~$300M in assets under management, Sapphire Sport backs Seed to Series B companies and founders looking to build and scale companies of consequence in these high growth areas. All companies in which Sapphire Sport has invested include Aglet, Breathwrk, Buzzer, GreenPark, Jackpot.com, Fevo, Flowhaven, Manticore, Market, Mixhalo, mycujoo (acquired by DAZN), Overtime, Phoenix Labs (acquired by Garena), PlayVS, POAP and Tonal.
About Sapphire Ventures:
Sapphire Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on helping innovative technology companies become global category leaders. Leveraging nearly two decades of experience and an extensive global enterprise network, Sapphire Ventures invests capital, resources and expertise to support its portfolio companies to scale rapidly. Whether entrepreneurs sell to businesses, consumers or both, Sapphire Ventures offers a platform for business development and operational excellence to help them accelerate growth. With more than $10 billion in assets under management (4) via direct early-stage and growth investments and early-stage fund investments, Sapphire Ventures is positioned to elevate companies to the global stage.
Sapphire Sport refers to Sapphire Ventures, LLC ("Sapphire") Sport Investment Strategy.
(1) Sapphire Sport assets under management ("AUM") represents Sapphire Sport Regulatory Assets Under Management as of 12/31/2021 per Form ADV filed March 2022 as well as commitments made during calendar year 2022. (2) Sapphire Sports' $181M second fund vehicle represents total investor commitments made to the second series private fund vehicle which Sapphire Sport manages. (3) Sapphire Sports' $117M initial fund vehicle represents total investor commitments made to the first series private fund vehicle which Sapphire Sport manages. (4) Sapphire Ventures assets under management represents Sapphire's firmwide Regulatory Assets Under Management as of 12/31/2021 per Form ADV filed March 2022 as well as commitments made during calendar year 2022.
Sapphire Sport investors listed within this article may reflect individuals, investment groups, related investment parties, affiliates, estate planning entities, and others who maintain a level ownership and/or are closely affiliated with the various organizations mentioned. Sapphire Ventures, LLC ("Sapphire") has been granted consent by specific investors to describe relationships as they are presented within the article, and has also been granted consent to use associated, individual names that are be presented. Nothing presented herein is intended to constitute investment advice, and under no circumstances should any information provided herein be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by Sapphire. Any offer or solicitation of securities by Sapphire may only be made in accordance with the current offering documents for a managed Fund in which Sapphire is an advisor. Additionally, Sapphire does not solicit or make its services available to the public; such offerings may only be provided to accredited investors and qualified purchasers defined within the Securities Act of 1933 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. Information provided reflects Sapphires' views as of a particular time. Such views are subject to change at any point and Sapphire Ventures shall not be obligated to provide notice of any change. Experiences highlighted within endorsements provided about Sapphire Sport solely those of those profiled in these endorsements and may not necessarily represent or be indicative of the current, past or future experiences of other portfolio companies. Past results and experiences discussed in these statements are not indicative, or a guarantee of future results and experiences. The reader should not assume that any investments identified within this article were or will be profitable in the future. Companies mentioned in this article include all portfolio companies in which Sapphire Sport has invested. Specific investment advice references provided herein are for illustrative purposes only and are not necessarily representative of investments that will be made in the future. While Sapphire has used reasonable efforts to obtain information from reliable sources, we make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of third-party information presented herein. No guarantee of investment performance is being provided and no inference to the contrary should be made. Past performance is not indicative of future results.