Sapphire Sport, an early-stage investment platform focused on technology, sports, media and entertainment, has raised $181 million for its second fund.
Returning investors includes City Football Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, adidas, Anschutz Entertainment Group, Bank of Montreal, Intersect Capital, the ownership of the Indiana Pacers, WISE Ventures (the investment fund of the Wilf family), Jeff Vinik (owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning) and Skyland Partners, the firm said in a statement.
New investors include Madison Square Garden Sports, Arctos Partners, Pentland Group, Gametime Capital, Stephen Kaplan (chairman of Nalpak Capital), Stephen Pagliuca (co-chairman of Bain Capital, co-owner of the Boston Celtics), David Blitzer (owner of several teams) and CAZ Investments, Sapphire Sports said.
This fundraising follows Sapphire Sport’s debut fund which closed at $117 million in January 2019.
Sapphire Sport, which is Sapphire Ventures’ sports investment strategy, was co-founded and is led by Doug Higgins and Michael Spirito.
“When we launched Sapphire Sport in 2019, we believed that the sport, media and entertainment industries would be better served by an institutional investment approach to the sector, one that brought the experience and partnership of sport and entertainment stakeholders to venture capital,” Higgins and Spirito said in the statement. “Alongside our LPs, we believe we have built Sapphire Sport into a leading partner for early-stage companies at the intersection of technology and these large markets. We couldn’t be prouder of this group of investors, and we believe that they would agree that harnessing new technologies to better understand the next generation of consumers has never been more important.”
Sapphire Sport has about $300 million assets under management. Investments include Aglet, Breathwrk, Buzzer, GreenPark, Jackpot.com, Fevo, Flowhaven, Manticore, Market, Mixhalo, mycujoo (acquired by DAZN), Overtime, Phoenix Labs (acquired by Garena), PlayVS, POAP and Tonal.
Based in Austin, Sapphire Ventures has more than $10 billion in assets under management.