NBA Star Klay Thompson Takes On The Tech World With New Investment In Fantasy Sports Startup Sleeper
Basketball superstar Klay Thompson has just invested in fantasy sports startup Sleeper, reportedly contributing to the quadrupling of its value to more than $400 million.
Sleeper is a compilation of football and basketball games that people can play online with friends. Its initial focus was on the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), but the pandemic’s impact pushed the firm to get into esports as well.
The company has gone from strength to strength despite pushback from coronavirus, with an average user reportedly spending between 20 to 35 minutes on Sleeper during game day.
“Originally, the goal was to do arena sports and then strategically select esports that we thought would be big market opportunities..In the absence of sports, it becomes easier for us to push something that was further out on the roadmap.”Sleeper’s Chief Executive Officer Nan Wang in TechCrunch.
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz led Sleeper’s $40 million funding round while the NBA star’s Thompson Family Foundation also invested an undisclosed amount.
According to Bloomberg, the funding will be for “product development and hiring in areas including engineering, design, customer support, finance, and marketing.”
General Catalyst and Birchmere Ventures, who are already existing backers, and angel investors Miami Dolphins player Byron Jones and former NBA player Shane Battier also invested in the company.
The big win comes after it closed a $20 million Series B funding round in May 2020. According to TechCrunch, that round was also led by Andreessen Horowitz alongside NBA stars Kevin Durant and Baron Davi.