Sixers Innovation Lab launches new venture capital fund, backed by Harris Blitzer – Sportico.com
Seed venture capital fund Sixers Innovation Lab is launching a second fund to invest primarily in business-to-business startups working in sports, media and consumer packaged goods, among other sectors. The fund will be managed by general manager Seth Berger with chief operating officer Rhyan Truett, and backed primarily by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.
“Since 2017, HBSE, Rhyan and I have been investing in a diverse group of founders and really supporting them, which is impacting their journey,” Berger said in a phone call. “Our goal is to keep doing the same, potentially on a larger scale. With HBSE, you have expertise, resources, connections and capital, and they help accelerate the growth of a good business. ways.
The new fund will have $25 million in assets and will include funds from investors other than Harris Blitzer, according to a person familiar with the fund who asked not to be named because the asset level is not disclosed. . “We are not fully committed [in target funding] so there is a small opportunity if people want to partner with HBSE and us,” Berger said.
The new fund will also focus on esports and gaming, direct-to-consumer products, and business-to-consumer businesses. The latter describes situations where consumers purchase a company’s product through an intermediary company – Apple’s App Store and Ebay are two examples.
“Seth has a long track record of not only being a successful entrepreneur and business builder, but also having a watchful eye on emerging, diverse and high-potential talent,” said Josh Harris, co-founder of HBSE and managing partner of the Philadelphia 76ers, in a press release today.
The first Sixer Innovation Lab fund has backed 17 startups, including BettorView, which provides bars and restaurants with specialized sports betting programs; Shappi, through which foreign buyers receive U.S. goods delivered by international travelers; and Lowkey, an esports presentation app purchased by Niantic Labs. The fund also stands out for its high diversity: 65% of investments had at least one minority founder at the time of investment, and 40% had at least one female founder.
“Our entrepreneurs have had such a track record of success, we’ve had a group of them that have really crushed it over the last two years,” Berger added. “Rhyan and I, as partners, really enjoy being involved in the day-to-day missions of our companies.”