Fanatics has grown to be the go-to e-commerce store for officially licensed apparel for major sports organizations. It’s not just sports fans rushing to get their favorite player’s jersey, investors have shown equal enthusiasm.
The sports apparel retailer has seen its valuation double in the past few months, thanks to a recent funding round. In the latest round, Silver Lake was the lead investor in a $320 million investment deal that values Fanatics around $12.8 billion, according to a PitchBook estimate.
Other notable investors in the latest round include existing backers, such as Fidelity Investments, Thrive Capital, Major League Baseball, Neuberger Berman, and more. The e-commerce company says it plans to utilize the gross proceeds to further support international expansion, acquisitions, and existing infrastructure.
Fanatics had previously raised $350 million in August 2020, which valued the company at around $6.2 billion. At the time, it was reported that the funding round would be its last before going public. However, with e-commerce sales surging 30% year-over-year and on track to hit $3 billion in revenue during 2021, the IPO talks have largely faded.
Fanatics has grown into one of the world’s largest online retailer of licensed sports apparel. Led by billionaire Michael Rubin, Fanatics has grown from a small Florida-based operation into a global behemoth. Mr. Rubin initially acquired the small operation in 2011, and proceeded to expand the brand and its partnerships across licensed sports apparel.
The sports apparel company has continued to focus on its aggressive expansion plans. In just the past few months, the company has entered into a $1 billion joint venture with Hillhouse Capital to expand operations into China.
Furthermore, Fanatics placed an investment in Barnes & Noble Education in a bid to make its collegiate gear onto college campuses. On the acquisition front, the company has recently acquired the hat maker, Top of the World, and sports accessories company, WinCraft.
Fanatics’ vision of being the ultimate shopping experience for sports fans has come to life. Whether buying online, in stores, stadiums, and sporting events, the retailer has found a way to become an “omnichannel retailer built for today’s mobile-first culture.”