- Fundraising Round Comes After Fanatics Closes Trading Card Deals With MLB, MLBPA, NBA, NBPA, NFLPA
- Merch Company owns 80% controlling stake in Fanatics Trading Cards, but also remits equity to leagues and player associations
- Florida-based company is also looking to expand into sports betting and other areas
The new collectible card business created by sporting goods giant Fanatics has raised US $ 350 million in a Series A funding round, sources familiar with the matter have confirmed. SportsPro.
Sources said the new investment, which was first reported by the the Wall Street newspaper, gives the new company, called Fanatics Trading Cards, a valuation of $ 10.4 billion.
It is understood that investors in the round were private equity firms Silver Lake and Insight Partners, as well as Endeavor, the sports and entertainment giant that owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The news of the first round of funding comes after reports emerged last month that Fanatics had made deals to design, manufacture and distribute collectible cards for several sports properties, including Major League Baseball (MLB) and National Basketball Association (NBA), as well as the players’ unions from two leagues, in addition to the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA).
The first of those deals doesn’t begin until 2023, but Fanatics’ aggressive expansion into the collectible card business has caused a major market shake-up, with the company moving Topps out of its role with MLB, as it takes over positions. NBA and NFLPA relations. of Panini in 2026.
Fanatics owns an 80% controlling stake in the new collectible card entity, although the company also contributes capital to leagues and player associations with which it partners.
Sources have said that following the Series A funding round, leagues and player associations have already increased their stake by $ 1.4 billion ahead of the official launch of the collectible card company.
It is also understood that Josh Luber, an e-commerce entrepreneur who founded the StockX sneaker market, will join the Fanatics trading card company as a co-founder and vision director.
Fanatics’ expansion follows a series of fundraisers, the most recent of which in August valued the company at $ 18 billion. It was reported at the time that the Florida-based company, led by Michael Rubin, was looking to venture into areas such as sports betting, digital collectibles and media.
On the gambling front, Recently reported action network that Fanatics is set to acquire a sports betting operation, after holding talks with Rush Street Interactive (RSI) and Swedish firm Betsson about a potential deal.