Fanatics, the world’s biggest licensed sports merchandise retailer, raised $320 million in fresh capital in a funding round that valued the company at $12.8 billion, according to sources close to the deal. The funding round, which came months after its last round, was led by private equity firms Silver Lake, Blackstone, Fidelity Investments, Neuberger Berman, Thrive Capital and Major League Baseball, all of which are existing investors in the e-commerce company, signaling strong investor interest in online retailers that have benefited from the coronavirus pandemic.
The company was last valued at $6.2 billion in August. The latest round brought total funding raised by Fanatics to over $1.8 billion since 2011.Backed by SoftBank Group Corp, Fanatics operates online stores and sells products for more than 300 teams, brands and leagues from Manchester United and Nike to the National Football League.
The Florida-based company recorded strong online sales growth during the pandemic, and expects over $3 billion in revenue in 2021. Last month, the company said it was expanding into China via a venture with private equity firm Hillhouse Capital Group.
Reporting by Niket Nishant and Aishwarya Venugopal and Krystal Hu
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