Arguably the most successful basketball player of the past decade will now look to enter the venture capital market. Kobe Bryant is formally partnering with long time business associate Jeff Stibel, (former President and CEO of Web.com) to create the Bryant Stibel investment firm. To begin, the “two men are contributing the $100 million—which they expect to invest over the next few years—and aren’t seeking outside investors yet.”
The firm will focus on supplying capital to companies in the technology, media and data collection markets. Current investments between the two include “sports media website The Players Tribune, videogame designer Scopely, legal-services company LegalZoom, a telemarketing-software firm called RingDNA and a home-juicing company called Juicero.”
Alot of opinions have been shared regarding Bryant’s latest move, with many people taking the wait and see approach. Unfortunately, when it comes to business ventures outside of sports, athletes have garnered mixed results. Entering the venture capital market is no easy task either, with most venture capital bets ending in failure. For a new venture capitalist, limiting exposure while taking on investments is the best firms like Bryant Stibel can do to be successful over the long term. I believe in the Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel partnership as they already have already invested in 15 companies previously. With cautious and smart moves, Kobe Bryant can open a new market for young athletes looking to continue success after their playing days are over.