Kobe Bryant is making the final transition from athlete to business entrepreneur. The NBA legend unveiled the creation of ‘Bryant Stibel,’ a new venture capital firm that focuses on media, data space, and technology investments.
Jeff Stibel, Vice Chairman of Dun & Bradstreet, and former CEO of Web.com is the company’s co-founder. Both partners made an appearance on CNBC to discuss the reasons behind the self-funded $100 million venture yesterday. The sports icon also imparted investment advice to retired NBA colleagues during the program.
Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel met through a mutual friend and had been privately investing since 2013. However, the creation of the venture marks a formal partnership between the two entrepreneurs.
‘Bryant Stibel’ doesn’t include Kobe Inc’s personal investments
The highly-awarded NBA player previously sponsored Kobe Inc in 2014 to own and grown brands in the sports industry such as the BodyArmor drink, an official sponsor of Mr. Bryant’s final game with the Los Angeles Lakers in April.
On the other hand, Jeff Stibel is a brain scientist and a New York Times best-selling author of two books, Breakpoint (2013) and Wired for Thought (2009). He currently sits on academic boards for Tufts University and Brown University, from which he received a ‘Brain and Behavior Fellowship Award,’ according to a biography on the venture’s official site.
Bryant Stibel is a busy man
There are a lot of companies that have the Stibel brand including ‘VIPKID,’ a school program designed to bring American elementary experience to Chinese children. Also, ‘The Player’s Tribune,’ a platform founded by Derek Jeter where professional athletes can share their opinions about sports with the public.
There is also the ‘HouseCanary,’ a real state and data analytics firm. ‘LegalZoom,’ game developer Scopely, and ‘Represent,’ a crowd-selling platform where users can create and sell custom merchandise with no upfront costs.
Kobe talked about athlete’s bad spending habits
During the interview on CNBC, Kobe Bryant talked about a common problem among retired players: spending.
According to the entrepreneur, plenty of players end up in bankruptcy even if they save money over a 15-year career, due to their spending habits. He also advised colleagues to think about passion more than business, an aspect the player claims is the key to ensuring a stable future for athletes.
With the announcement of this new fund, Kobe Bryant enters a list of fellow NBA stars currently leading profitable enterprises, such as Magic Johnson, David Robinson, and Carmelo Anthony.
Excited to be at the @nyse with @kobebryant & team to announce our investment platform @BryantStibel #ValueGrowth pic.twitter.com/AyMCuRhunX
— Jeff Stibel (@Stibel) August 22, 2016
The Bryant Stibel venture fund is not open to outside investors yet.