Fanatics Inc. raised a new round of funding valuing the online sports-merchandise retailer at $18 billion, people familiar with the matter said, roughly tripling its valuation from a year ago as it works to expand into new business lines, including sports betting.
The company raised $325 million in a funding round that closed Monday with new investors including rapper Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and the entertainment company he founded called Roc Nation LLC and existing investors Major League Baseball, SoftBank Group Corp.’s 9984 0.90% Vision Fund, and private-equity giant Silver Lake, the people said.
Fanatics has been working to grow its business beyond its core of selling sports apparel and memorabilia online and some brick-and-mortar locations. It launched a nonfungible token company called Candy Digital earlier this year.
The company plans to use the new capital to transform itself into a digital platform with multiple related businesses, such as ticketing and media in addition to sports betting and internet gambling.