Drake, Jeff Bezos, Others Invest $80M in Sports Media Startup Overtime

Overtime says it will use this fresh funding to build out internal capabilities around NFTs, trading cards and sports betting features tailored for younger sports fans, as well as its app. The company also plans to make a “significant investment” in the development of its new pro basketball league Overtime Elite.

Written by Ellen Glover
Published on Apr. 22, 2021
Drake, Jeff Bezos, Others Invest $80M in Sports Media Startup Overtime
NYC-based Overtime raised $80M Series C
Photo: Shutterstock

Overtime, a Brooklyn tech company and rising star in the sports entertainment space, announced Thursday it closed on a star-studded $80 million Series C. The round was led by Sapphire Sport and Black Capital, with participation from billionaire Jeff Bezos’ personal investment firm Bezos Expeditions, rapper Drake, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and more than two dozen current and former NBA players.

“The breadth and diversity of this investment group, including leaders from business, entertainment, technology and sports, speaks to Overtime’s remarkable growth and our future trajectory,” CEO and co-founder Dan Porter said in a statement. “We believe this is just the tip of the iceberg, as we develop new ways for Overtime to engage with and entertain the next generation of athletes and fans.”

Porter, a former head of design at WME, co-founded Overtime back in 2016 with ex-chess champion Zack Weiner as a way to produce sports-related, short-form content. It has since built a flourishing following of nearly 50 million people on social media, offering everything from content to e-commerce to live events. The company says its programming has been viewed more than 14 billion times.

“When Overtime first launched, we were known for our raw and authentic sports highlights from across the globe,” Weiner said in a statement. “Five years later, we’re the leading brand for the next generation of sports fans, reaching them through our social channels, our long-form series, our e-commerce business, and now a sports league.”

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Indeed, just last month Overtime announced it was launching its own professional basketball league called Overtime Elite (OTE), with the goal of providing talented young players with an alternative pathway to becoming a pro athlete. The company says it plans to use part of this fresh funding to make a “significant investment” in the development of OTE, which will include guaranteeing salaries for all its athletes and hiring a dedicated staff of more than 80 employees. The new league’s inaugural season will begin in September.

Overtime will also use this latest round to build out internal capabilities around NFTs (non-fungible tokens), trading cards and sports betting features tailored for younger sports fans. The company wants to continue investing in its sports app, too, which provides stats, scores, analysis and other comedy and culture content.

“Overtime has built an unrivaled brand and global community from scratch in just five years. This fundraise reflects the incredible growth opportunities associated with such a market leading position, including the opportunity to bring Overtime Elite into the world,” Sapphire Sport partner Michael Spirito said in a statement. “We are thrilled to welcome this diverse and impactful group of institutional and individual investors to the Overtime family, further enabling the team to continue to build as only they know how.”

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