A year after Kevin Durant and his business partner, Rich Kleiman, invested in Just Women’s Sports, site whose mission is self-explanatory, he’s being joined by Joe and Clara Wu Tsai via their family investment vehicle, Blue Pool Capital.
The announcement came Thursday in a press release.
Just Women’s Sports, the leading media platform dedicated exclusively to women’s sports, today announced that it has raised $6 million from new and returning investors.
The funding round was led by Blue Pool Capital, Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai’s family office.
As the release notes, the Tsais are being joined in what is the second round of investment by both high profile women athletes, past and present, and other sports and entertainment companies and individuals.
New investors include tennis icon Billie Jean King; Washington Spirit owner Michele Kang; Bolt Ventures, the family office of financier and team owner David Blitzer; SC Holdings, a strategic entertainment investor that’s backed The SpringHill Company and Front Office Sports; Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund; Muse Capital; Dapper Labs, the leading sports NFT platform; and other institutional and angel investors.
“The business case for women’s sports has never been clearer, and Just Women’s Sports is positioned to be the leading media platform in the space,” said Tsai and and his wife in a statement. “We’re thrilled to partner with them as they enter this next phase of growth.”
A year ago, in a $3.5 million round of investment, Thirty-Five Ventures, KD and Kleiman’s company, was among the most prominent companies to get in early.
“Just Women’s Sports is creating a much-needed platform centered around game and player highlights and analysis that shows fans exactly how good these players are and why they’re worth watching,” said Durant at the time.
He was joined in that round of investment by other high-profile women athletes, big names like two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne and reigning league scoring champion Arike Ogunbowale, women’s hockey icon Hilary Knight, as well as USWNT World Cup Champions Kelley O’Hara and Sam Mewis.
Haley Rosen, who played soccer at Stanford, is the founder and CEO of the site. In Thursday’s announcement, she talked about how the Tsais’ investment would help the two-year-old site develop further.
“Two years ago, we saw a massive opportunity to tap into an audience that was extremely underserved by traditional media,” said Rosen. “We knew the on-field product was great, and that women’s sports just needed better coverage and smarter marketing to truly break into the mainstream. This latest round of funding gives us the resources to cement our status as the leading platform in the space.”
Durant already had a connection to the New York Liberty when he and Kleiman made their original investment in Just Women’s Sports. Beyond being a fan and sitting with the Tsais at Liberty games, Thirty-Five Ventures signed New York’s star guard Sabrina Ionescu as a “ambassador” to women’s sports. She works with Boardroom on content, events, and editorial, including a collaboration with Durant.
Women’s sports, of course, is a growing business with both the WNBA and the National Women’s Soccer League having seen growing interest — and attendance. Tsai bought control of the Liberty in early 2019 from James Dolan and MSG Sports, reportedly for nothing more than an assumption of Liberty debt and an agreement to share revenue once the team began to make a profit.
Joe Tsai is also partners with Steve Nash in his start-up professional box lacrosse team, the Las Vegas Desert Dogs.
- Billionaire Joe Tsai, Billie Jean King Back Just Women’s Sports - Gillian Tan - Bloomberg News