Fanatics Valued at $31 Billion as Clearlake Leads $700M Round

Fanatics has raised roughly $700 million from a series of new and existing investors in a round that values the company at $31 billion, according to someone familiar with the details.

It’s the latest round of financing for the company, which is rapidly expanding its e-commerce empire into new areas like sports betting and trading cards. Fanatics was valued at $6.2 billion in a round in August 2020, and after the new vision began taking shape, new investors came in at a $27 billion value earlier this year.

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Clearlake Capital, the private equity firm behind the recent purchase of English soccer giant Chelsea, led this most recent round, which came together despite a challenging fundraising environment. About 60% of the money in the $700 million round is from new investors, including LionTree, according to the person, who was granted anonymity because the details are private.

Backed by billionaire Michael Rubin, Fanatics is the world’s largest seller of licensed sports merchandise, but it is expanding its business via new acquisitions, new hires and new verticals. Company revenue is expected to be roughly $8 billion next year, and it will end 2022 with more than $2 billion on its balance sheet.

A representative for Fanatics declined to comment on the round, or the financial specifics.

Fanatics is now organized into three companies: Fanatics Commerce, which houses its core merchandise business; Fanatics Collectibles, which includes Topps and its trading card venture; and Fanatics Betting & Gaming, which will house the sports gambling and iGaming. The $31 billion valuation includes Fanatics Commerce and its positions in those new ventures.

Prior Fanatics investors SoftBank, Silver Lake and Fidelity all participated in this new round, the person said. Other prior Fanatics investors include Roc Nation, rapper Jay-Z and Todd Boehly’s Eldridge Capital. Many of the major leagues and players unions are also equity holders in Fanatics Commerce, a model that Rubin is applying to the new ventures.

Rubin has long planned to take Fanatics public. When the company raised $350 million in August of 2020, it was expected to be its final round of financing before an IPO or reverse merger. With the company’s rapid expansion into new areas, those plans seem to have been shelved, at least for the time being.

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