Kobe Bryant Says Investing in Entrepreneurship Is His Passion
On Monday, five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, solidifying his move into venture capitalism through a new $100 million fund.
Through the firm Bryant Stibel, the Philadelphia native, along with his co-founder, seasoned entrepreneur and former CEO of Web.com, Jeff Stibel, plans to invest in entrepreneurs, specifically technology, media, and data companies, according to the Wall Street Journal.
On CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” Bryant said he would prefer to be known for his legacy in venture investing than for his legacy in basketball.
According to Bryant, championships come and go and “there’s always going to be another team that wins another championship, another player that wins another MVP award.”
Adding, “But to create something that last[s?] generations, you have to inspire the next generation. […] There’s no greater feeling than helping entrepreneurs be successful and being a part of something that’s helping their dreams come true.”
Bryant Stibel already has an investment portfolio of over 50 companies that it’s quietly invested in and advised since 2013, including the video game designer Scopely, the e-commerce company Alibaba, and the legal services company LegalZoom. At the moment, the two cofounders are investing their own money into the company, with no outside investors. Bryant emphasized that he’s looking to invest in “great people,” leaders who can “navigate the ups and downs.” Stibel added that they’re interested in companies that can grow industries and maybe become the behemoths that are Fortune 500 companies.
In April, Bryant, who’ll be 38 on Tuesday, played the final game of his 20-years-long career. And in retirement, he said he’s found his next passion in supporting entrepreneurship.
Maybe it’s time for Bryant to come home and check out what’s been cooking in Philly.
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