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Courtside Ventures Launches Star-studded $100 Million Fund

Shaquille O’Neal, Larry Fitzgerald, and David Blitzer are among the investors in Courtside Ventures’ new $100 million Fund III.

VC firm Courtside Ventures announced a new $100 million Fund III on Thursday, featuring a wide array of sports team owners, athletes, and executives.

The early stage firm will accelerate investments in a diverse set of sports, collectibles, wellness, and gaming brands that will surely benefit from an all-star list of funders. The funding team includes:

“Courtside Ventures has a track record of successfully backing and accelerating culture-shaping companies that are driving innovation, and with Fund III we will continue to invest with conviction in great founders and disruptive ideas in our key verticals,” Courtside Ventures partner Deepen Parikh said. “We will also continue to put a strong emphasis on global investment opportunities as our vertical focus and learnings from the U.S. market are applicable to larger and higher growth regions.”

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Launched in 2016, Courtside Ventures has invested in more than 80 different companies, including The Athletic (which it exited when The New York Times acquired the company last year), Beam (before Microsoft acquired it), StockX, 100 Thieves, Religion of Sports, Freeletics, and Paceline. Fund I has returned 1.61x in net distribution to paid-in capital proceeds, with Fund III bringing the company’s total to more than $200 million in committed assets under management.

“From the moment they led our seed round through our exit to The New York Times, Courtside Ventures was an instrumental partner and board member for The Athletic,” Alex Mather, The Athletic’s co-founder and CEO, said. “They took an early bet on our vision to redefine sports journalism when most other VC firms had passed, and continued to support us at every phase of our growth, setting them apart from many others in the industry.”

Early Fund III investments include Hypothetic, Matchday, Mojo, Xpoint, Jackpot.com, Venly, Planet Mojo, Bezel, Fliff, Fermat, and Fello.

“Their hands-on approach ensures companies like ours with bold ambitions together have access to the resources, tools and partners we need to scale, navigate times of market uncertainty, and ultimately advance our respective industries,” Akshay Khanna, Jackpot.com’s co-founder and CEO, said. “We are humbled to call them an early investor, one who believes in our vision with conviction, and we are proud to be included in this new fund, which has so many thought leaders as investors.”

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