Kobe Bryant: “You Have To Help Inspire The Next Generation”
Former NBA All-star, slam dunk champion and future basketball Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant hopes that his legacy will not be basketball, but he hopes to be remembered for something totally different: investing.
Kobe Bryant has revealed that while he was dominating play on the basketball court, he was also planning to make his next move his best move by quietly building a $100 million venture capital firm.
Bryant’s Wall Street secret went public Monday when the former Los Angeles Laker rang the New York Stock Exchange bell and told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” about his three-year-old venture.
Bryant, who at the age of 37, retired from the NBA this year after 20 years, said that investing is one of his passions. “This is where it’s at for me,” he said.
“Playing basketball, the focus is always on winning — winning championships, winning championships, winning championships,” Bryant said. “Now, championships come and go… But if you really want to create something that lasts generations, you have to help inspire the next generation… That’s when you create something forever. And that’s what’s most beautiful.”
The $100 million venture-capital fund was co-founded in 2013 by Jeff Stibel, a serial entrepreneur, scientist and author. Stibel currently serves as the vice chairman of Dun & Bradstreet, and was previously the president and CEO of Web.com, Inc.
But the fund just now is being pushed in the spotlight because funding entrepreneurship something that Kobe can really focus on.
“It’s the inner belief that a person has what he needs to endure no matter what the obstacle may be. It’s that persistence, the entrepreneur doing what he or she truly believes in and truly loves to do,” Kobe said.
“We wanted our body of work, and the entrepreneurs and companies, to stand for themselves,” Stibel told CNNMoney. “We wanted to prove that this was something that had substance and depth.”
Bryant Stibel has already invested in 15 companies and been involved in 50 transactions. The group’s current portfolio includes Derek Jeter’s media company The Player’s Tribune, home juicing firm Juicero, and the huge Chinese online retailer Alibaba.
Bryant and Stibel are listed as general partners, and Stibel says they are mostly responsible for that $100 million fund. Bryant Stibel’s core team, made up of a small group of individual investors Stibel has worked with…