Fanatics Inc. just scored another major investment — bringing its current valuation to $18 billion according to people close to the deal.
The e-commerce site, which sells licensed sportswear, sports equipment and other merchandise, raised an additional $325 million from investors such as SoftBank, Silver Lake, Eldridge, TWG Sports Media & Entertainment, Insight Partners, MLB, Jay-Z, and Roc Nation.
The new funding almost triples the company’s market value over the past year and will help expand the company’s rights-holder relationships. Fanatics plans to expand beyond its vCommerce, or vertical commerce, business and lean into its technological capabilities and vast consumer databases to launch NFTs, gaming, sports betting, and a media arm.
The recent funding surfaces whisperings of a potential IPO, rumors of which have circulated for months. A spokesperson told FN in March that there was no update on any timeline for going public.
“Our focus remains on building a great global company and strengthening our vertical commerce business model,” the spokesperson said at the time.
Fanatics expanded into China in February through a joint venture with private equity firm Hillhouse Capital. It previously inked a deal with Walmart in January 2019 which allows the retailer to sell Fanatics licensed products through its website.
Along with the funding, Fanatics announced some executive changes and appointments. Executive Chairman Michael Rubin will transition to the role of Fanatics CEO in line with a vision to turn the Fanatics into one integrated company. Doug Mack, CEO of the commerce business, will also take on the role of vice chairman of Fanatics. Glenn Schiffman and Tucker Kain have been named CFO and chief strategy and growth officer, respectively. Entrepreneur Matt King will help build up more digital companies under Fanatics.