Thirty Five Ventures is among investors in the sports media platform’s seed funding round.
Just Women’s Sports, the fastest-growing media platform focused on women’s athletics today, announced $3.5 million in seed funding Monday.
Led by Will Ventures and joined by Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Ventures, DraftKings, OVO Fund, Supernode Global, and top athletes like Kelley O’Hara, Elena Delle Donne, Arike Ogbunowale, and Hilary Knight, the fundraising is an exciting step forward for JWS.
Founded by former Stanford soccer star Haley Rosen in 2020, Just Women’s Sports is a leader in news and analysis for the WNBA, NWSL, college sports, Olympic sports, and beyond, featuring podcasts, video series, and exclusive interviews.
“The audience for women’s sports is both massive and growing, despite a lack of investment in quality coverage,” said Rosen, who also serves as Just Women Sports’ CEO. “For women’s sports to take the next step, the games have to be more accessible and there also needs to be more content around the games, including news, highlights, analysis, and storytelling. Even when they can find a game to watch, fans of women’s sports are too often left wondering who they’re watching and what’s at stake. Just Women’s Sports is here to change that.”
In addition to providing in-depth women’s sports coverage and analysis, the brand has assembled an impressive roster of talent for their original programming, including World Cup winners O’Hara and Sam Mewis, USWNT teammate and NWSL champion Lynn Williams, and NWSL star and New Zealand international Ali Riley. Later this month, WNBA stars A’ja Wilson and Napheesa Collier will bring their popular “Tea with A and Phee” podcast to the network.
Although the participation rate in sports across gender lines is just about 50/50, women receive less than 4% of sports media coverage. JWS seeks to launch women’s sports into the mainstream, and this recent round of funding brings that goal further into focus.
“In order to grow women’s sports, fans need to see how great the games are, and they shouldn’t have to look hard to do that,” said Thirty Five Ventures co-founder and two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant. “Just Women’s Sports is creating a much-needed platform centered around game and player highlights and analysis that shows fans exactly how good these players are and why they’re worth watching.”
With the successful round of fundraising, Just Women’s Sports becomes the first female-led media company to be fully funded by venture capital. With this added momentum, Just Women’s Sports will continue to build out not just its editorial operation, but its production and executive teams. Recent hires have included former Google and Uber Eats exec Ali Braverman (Head of Revenue), former ESPN producer Ashley Braband (Head of Content and Production), and former Athletic editor Hannah Withiam (Managing Editor).
“I’m so excited for what Haley is building with Just Women’s Sports. I believe in her and her vision for this company and platform,” said WNBA champion and two-time league MVP Elena Delle Donne. “We know fans of women’s sports are an underserved audience, and there’s a huge opportunity for growth. I’m beyond thrilled to be part of what they’re doing.”
As founder and CEO, Rosen’s vision for what the women’s sports media landscape can and should be is what has animated Just Women’s Sports since its launch last year — and ultimately what attracted a star-studded group of investors.
“We’re excited about this investment in Just Women’s Sports not only because we recognize the huge opportunity for growth in the space, but because Haley is exactly the kind of founder we want to be in business with,” said Thirty Five Ventures co-founder Rich Kleiman. “She uniquely understands what’s missing in the conversations around women’s sports, and she’s also building her business with incredible knowledge and foresight.”
In so many ways, the game is changing. And the best is yet to come.