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Suburban Chicago VC Firm Raises $40M to Invest in Sports Tech

Suburban Chicago VC Firm Raises $40M to Invest in Sports Tech

Chicago is undeniably a sports town. But it’s also a sports-tech town, as it’s home to major sports technology companies like STATS, Zebra Technologies and Vivid Seats. Chicago is also home to Sportvision, a graphics company best known for inventing the yellow first down marker in football broadcasts.

To invest in the burgeoning sports-tech scene in Chicago and around the country, VC fund KB Partners announced Monday that it raised a $40 million fund to invest in early-stage startups.

The Highland Park-based firm, calling its new fund the KB Partners Myriad Opportunity Fund, will invest in connected fitness, health and wellness tech, as well as e-sports, fantasy sports and sports betting, a sector that is expected to grow considerably now that sports betting is legal in Illinois. KB Partners said it plans to lead or co-lead Seed and Series A rounds for sports tech startups through the new fund.

The firm, founded in 1996, is led by Keith Bank, Steve Ahern and Lance Dietz. The Myriad Opportunity is the firm’s latest fund. Previously, KB Partners has invested in successfully exited startups, such as Club Champion, Buddy Media and Exacq.

So far, KB Partners has invested in the following sports-tech companies from around the country:

  • ANGLR: A Pittsburgh-based company that has developed a hardware- and-software powered fishing intelligence network to help avid anglers optimize their time on the water
  • Asensei: A San Francisco-based company focused on disrupting how people train and practice via a virtual AI- enabled “connected coaching” platform
  • Hammerhead: A New York City-based company focused on revolutionizing how cyclists navigate, train, and connect via a revolutionary hardware and software platform
  • StreamLayer: A Chicago-based software company that seeks to change how video content is consumed and monetized
  • Upcomer: An LA-based company that provides an e-sports community and content platform to keep fans and participants updated and engaged
  • Workforce Athletics: A San Francisco-based corporate wellness and culture company that is building a highly curated and centralized platform for team sports participation and engagement in the workplace
  • XY Gaming: A San Francisco-based e-sports infrastructure company utilizing its proprietary technology platform to redefine how gamers compete

SOURCE: AmericanINNO – Chicaco
LINK: https://www.americaninno.com/chicago/inno-news-chicago/suburban-vc-firm-raises-40m-to-invest-in-sports-tech/

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