The Other Side of Kobe Bryant: The Tech Investor

It has been days since NBA Legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Marie Onore-Bryant along with 7 other people perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Up to this moment, the people whom Kobe has touched and influenced directly and indirectly are mourning for his passing.

Much can be said about how Kobe Bryant is great as a basketball player, where at a very young age he was drafted to the world’s premiere basketball league, the NBA. Family members can surely tell stories on how great is Kobe as father, and definitely, fellow players and teammates can utter tons of stories on how awesome this NBA legend is as a teammate and a friend.

The Other Side of Kobe Bryant

There is another side of Kobe Bryant that was only known after his retirement from the NBA. This all-star legend is also a Tech Investor. In 2013, Kobe established the Bryant Stibel investment firm. This Venture Capital investment firm is in collaboration with founder Jeff Stibel. It was not until 2016 that they launched their duo investment firm with a $100M investment fund.

Kobe Bryant the Investor

In 2019 that investment fund has now grown into $2Billion. This is because of some wise investments that Kobe and Jeff entered into. Among the notable investments was in a company known as Epic Games. Yes, the creator of Fortnite, the most popular video game to date. However, being entrepreneurs Kobe and Jeff did not invest in Epic Games just because of Fortnite, they invested in Epic Games for their game developers’ engine the Unreal Engine which is being used by game developers and aspiring game developers. Unreal engine is also being used by games like Sea Of Thieves, Borderlands 3 and more.

In a CNBC interview, Kobe has shown one of his investor acumen in finding good investments. According to him, while the type of product is an important factor it is the quality of CEO’s that he is looking for and the biggest criteria in choosing the company to invest in. We could say that Kobe is investing more on people other than the product itself. An attitude that can be expected from a teamplayer and a person who spent his entire career believing in the capacity of his teammates and the value of teamwork in carrying them through victory.

The CNBC Interview

The opportunity that Kobe saw in being an investor was something he also shared with his fellow players. At present, some active NBA players like Steph Curry has also put in some investment under the Bryant Stible Investment fund. According to Kobe in the 2019 interview he wanted to give the same opportunity for active NBA players to invest and have that income stream even after their NBA career has ended. A testament to Kobe’s love for his fellow players.

Kobe is known to be an advocate of hard work, he believes in the value of putting in the work more than anyone else. That, if you want to be great, you have to work harder than anyone. That mentality has carried him through to be one of NBA’s legends and the same mentality made him a successful investor. Kobe will truly be missed not only in the field of sports but also in the field of startups and tech.

List of Companies the Bryant Stibel Investment Entered Into

Early Stage Investment

  • AllDef
  • AOS (Art of Sport)
  • brandnetworks
  • Datanyze
  • DYSH App
  • FocusMotion
  • HouseCanary
  • Juicero
  • Represent
  • Reserve
  • RingDNA
  • Scopely
  • The Player’s Tribune

Late Stage Investment

  • Custom Ink
  • Dell Technologies
  • Epic Games
  • The Honest Co
  • legalzoom
  • TeamViewer
  • tile

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