Kevin Durant Investing Hot Streak Continues With Robinhood, Mercury

Kevin Durant tallied a 2,500% return on his Robinhood stock today. Remarkably, it’s his second 10-bagger this month.

The NBA star bought into Robinhood during the online broker’s venture capital rounds through his Thirty Five Ventures. Robinhood made its stock market debut today at $38 a share, giving it a valuation of $32 billion. Durant’s firm bought into Robinhood in 2017, when it was valued at just $1.2 billion, according to data compiled by Crunchbase.

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Robinhood’s return isn’t the only 1,000%-plus return he’s booked this month, a rare level of returns coined a “10-bagger” by investing legend Peter Lynch. The Brooklyn Nets forward tallied another huge paper gain this month when Mercury, an online bank for other start-ups, raised Series B financing at a valuation of $1.6 billion. That’s 16 times what the business was worth when Durant was part of Mercury’s Series A financing in late 2019. Fellow NBA player Andre Iguodala also invested in Mercury at that time.

Thirty Five typically committed $250,000 to $1 million in its early startup investments but recently has increased its check size to as much as $3 million. The company would not comment on Durant’s stake in Mercury or Robinhood. Durant is at the Tokyo Olympics, playing for Team USA.

Durant, 32, focuses his off-court attention more on investing with Thirty Five Ventures than on endorsements. The fund has made more than 75 investments, including in Coinbase, which is up 54-fold from his 2017 acquisition of shares in the cryptocurrency platform. He also has stakes in Acorns, Overtime, NBA Top Shot-maker Dapper Labs and sports card investment platform Alt, among dozens of other active investments. Probably his largest cash outlay has been for a 5% stake in the Philadelphia Union, a Major League Soccer franchise valued at $530 million. He holds an option to purchase an additional 5% of the team too.

Thirty Five, which is run by Durant’s longtime business partner Rich Kleiman, has 25 full-time employees focusing on KD’s endorsements, startup investments, media properties, foundation and sports business media network Boardroom.

Given Durant’s career earnings from playing—$580 million in salaries and endorsements—he has access to venture capital opportunities usually reserved for large funds and billionaires. Among active basketball players, the star is next most likely to reach billionaire status, given he is owed $84 million from the Nets the next two seasons and about $85 million with a Nike deal that expires in 2024. Based on investing returns he’s seen just this month, Durant could join the ranks of the world’s richest people even sooner.