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Jay-Z and Roc Nation invest in digital sports platform Fanatics

The rapper is one of the many new investors backing the company, owned by Michael Rubin, which is reportedly worth $18B

Jay-Z and his Roc Nation entertainment company have invested in Fanatics, the digital sports platform owned by the rapper’s close friend Michael Rubin

Jigga is one of the many new investors backing Rubin’s company. Per Revolt, the $325M funding round includes donations from the MLB, SoftBank, Silver Lake, Eldridge, TWG Sports Media & Entertainment, and Insight Partners, bringing the value of Rubin’s company to $18 billion.

Rubin has transformed Fanatics, formerly an e-commerce company, into a global brand that is primarily a retailer of sports merchandise, Forbes reports. 

Jay-Z (Photo by Erik Voake/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

“We’ve realized we have this incredible opportunity but to really transition to a leading e-commerce company to building the leading digital sports platform,” Rubin said of Fanatics. “That means, as a sports fan, you go to Fanatics and get any sports product that’s important to you.” 

Rubin said there are currently no immediate plans to go public.

“I think going public is an option for us that we talk about a lot, but it’s not something we’re focused on today,” said Rubin. “We’re focused on building a business. But I think we’re well-financed and have a lot of growth capital to continue to grow.”

Jay’s support of Rubin comes on the heels of his investment into Landis Technologies — a startup company that helps low-income individuals become homeowners. 

As theGrio previously reported, first, the company —founded by Cyril Berdugo and Tom Petit —purchases the houses and then they rent them to their clients until they can qualify for a mortgage. To assure transparency, clients are assured that they can buy the property back at a predetermined price up to two years after the initial acquisition.

This rent-to-own approach has already proven successful for other companies but as part of its service, Landis also provides client coaching and supplemental support on things like financial management, credit score improvement, and tips on how to save up for a down payment.

“Financial inclusion is really important to us,” said Berdugo. “An aspect of Landis that we’re very proud to be a part of is wealth creation for low-income Americans.”

“The company’s typical client is a first-time homebuyer with a budget between $110,000 and $400,000,” reports Bloomberg.

Jay and Will Smith backed the firm in a $165M round of funding which they estimate is enough to acquire approximately 1,000 homes in that range. 

Jay-Z also made headlines recently for reuniting with Kanye West to record on a track on Ye’s hotly anticipated new album “Donda.” 

In this July 2012 photo, rappers Kanye West (left) and Jay-Z (right) accept the Best Group Award during the 2012 BET Awards at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images For BET)

As reported by theGRIO, the two — who released a now-classic joint album, Watch the Throne, nearly a decade ago — hadn’t appeared on a song together since the Drake jam, “Pop Style,” in 2016. 

“Guess Who’s Going to Jail Tonight?” is its supposed title, and the new song features Jay-Z appearing to reference West’s past support of former President Donald Trump, a move that stunned and upset fans, according to Vulture.

“I told him to stop all that red cap, we going home,” the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee raps on Donda‘s last track. Fans were also delighted by another line in Hov’s verse: “This might be the return of the throne / Hova and Yeezus, like Moses and Jesus.”

The duo’s Aug. 2011 LP topped music sales charts for weeks and sparked a massive worldwide tour, an outing that included 34 performances in North America and 23 in Europe. 

This story contains additional reporting from Blue Telusma and Biba Adams.

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The post Jay-Z and Roc Nation invest in digital sports platform Fanatics appeared first on TheGrio.

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