Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones among investors in $ 60 million venture capital fund focused on sports technology and entertainment

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Drive by DraftKings, a Boston-based venture capital firm, has raised $ 60 million for its first fund, which invests in sports technology and entertainment companies.

Investors in the fund include the Kraft Group, which owns the New England Patriots; Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys; Todd Boehly, who owns a stake in the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Sparks; and Madison Square Garden Sports Corp.

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, owner of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.

Drive was formed two years ago by four founding partners: DraftKings Inc., better known as a fantastic sports and sports betting company, and venture capital firms Catalyst, Accomplice and Boston Seed Capital. It was originally conceived as a way to help athletes learn about the venture capital industry and technology investing and connect them with sports technology companies. He also used his own capital to make small investments in startups. But last year, Drive changed focus to being a pure venture capitalist and started raising funds.

So far, Drive has invested in 13 companies, mostly in fundraising. But he does occasionally participate in later rounds, including investing last year in a $ 100 million Series E round for Whoop, which valued the wearable tech company at $ 1.2 billion.

The fund plans to invest more this year, next year and through 2023. It will continue to primarily support start-up companies, but it will save capital for investments in subsequent cycles of these companies.

“Given our strategic position, we have sought to find great companies that generate great returns and where we can help them at any stage,” said Meredith McPherron, Managing Director and Managing Partner of Drive. “We have a lot of business flow. We watch businesses every day. We will continue to invest where we see opportunities that present themselves and that make sense.

McPherron, a Harvard University football and lacrosse player in the late 1980s, joined Drive in July 2020 from Glasswing Ventures, a start-up venture capital firm where she was a partner. Over the past 30 years, she has held several leadership positions in operations, marketing and investment.

At Drive, McPherron has focused on four main areas: human performance; sports and games; media and fan engagement; and data analysis and monetization. Examples of the company’s investments include Guidesly, a mobile platform that connects outdoor enthusiasts with guides for fishing trips; Papaya Gaming, a mobile games company; and Just Women’s Sports, a media startup focused on women’s sports.

Drive has also assembled a group of nine advisers who have experience as athletes and executives, many of whom have invested in the fund. These include Larry Fitzgerald, a 17-year NFL wide receiver; Hilary Knight, a hockey player who was a member of the United States

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team that won the gold medal at the 2018 Olympics; Theo Epstein, former senior executive in baseball operations with the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs; and James Blake, a former professional tennis player.

“When we launched the strategy for the venture capital fund, we knew it would be important to have an advisory group with in-depth knowledge of the space we are investing in,” said McPherron.


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