US-based licensed sports merchandise retailer Fanatics has reportedly secured $325m in funding from new and existing investors, valuing the company at $18bn.
The funding round was led by current investors SoftBank and Silver Lake and included new investors such as hip-hop star Jay Z, his company Roc Nation, Eldridge Industries, Insight Partners and Major League Baseball.
Fanatics also has plans to develop a unit for other revenue streams outside merchandising.
The company’s current chairman Michael Rubin will serve as CEO of this division.
Current CEO Doug Mack will continue to lead Fanatics’ merchandise business.
As part of the ongoing expansion plan, the company has hired former IAC chief financial officer Glenn Schiffman, former LA Dodgers president Tucker Kain and former FanDuel chief executive Matt King.
A spokesperson for the retailer said its management is looking to enter the gaming, ticketing and media businesses within the sports ecosystem.
In June, Fanatics launched Candy Digital, a nonfungible token platform.
Earlier this year, the company raised $320m in another funding round, valuing the company at $12.8bn.
In total, the retailer has accumulated around $2.2bn.
The company also has agreements in place to sell online merchandise for more than 300 leagues and teams, including NFL, NBA and MLB.
Last December, Fanatics entered the non-apparel merchandise sector by acquiring sports manufacturer WinCraft.
In 2019, the company entered a long-term partnership with Walmart to introduce a store on Walmart’s online platform.
Fan Shop by Fanatics offers items from several professional sports leagues, including NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR and MLS. It also provides Nike, New Era and Majestic products as well as those from Fanatics’ own portfolio.
The store offers licensed apparel, jerseys, hats, collectables, tailgating items and novelty products among other items.