Sports media and entertainment startup Overtime raised $80 million in Series C funding — from a diverse investor group that includes Amazon mega-billionaire Jeff Bezos, Drake and more than two dozen NBA players.
Overtime said it will use the fresh capital to fund its expansion into new areas, including the debut of a high-school basketball league later this year. Founded in 2016, the company has raised more than $140 million in funding to date. The Brooklyn-based company now has more than 125 employees.
The latest round of funding was led by existing investor Sapphire Sport and new investor Black Capital. Notable investors in this round include Bezos Expeditions, the Amazon founder’s personal investment company, Drake, Micromanagement Ventures (the family of the late David Stern), Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Jeff Kearl (via Pelion Capital), Morgan Stanley Counterpoint Global and Blackstone Strategic Partners.
In addition, more than 25 current and former NBA players invested in Overtime, including Deandre Ayton, Lonzo Ball, Will Barton, Devin Booker, Anthony Edwards, De’Aaron Fox, Pau Gasol, Aaron Gordon, Danny Green, Zach LaVine, Kyle Lowry, Kenyon Martin, JaVale McGee, Khris Middleton, Kelly Olynyk, Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish, Domas Sabonis, Garrett Temple, Isaiah Thomas, Klay Thompson, Thaddeus Young, Trae Young, Gerald Wallace, Hassan Whiteside, Andrew Wiggins, and Nick “Swaggy P” Young.
Brooklyn-based Overtime was founded in the fall of 2016 by CEO Dan Porter, formerly WME’s head of digital, and president Zack Weiner, an ex-chess champion turned entrepreneur. The company first launched with short-form content centered on high-school basketball stars and has since expanded to other sports.
“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,” 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.”
Previous investors in Overtime include Proof, Gaingels, Concrete Rose Capital, Dentsu Ventures, Intersect Capital, LightShed Ventures, WNBA All-Star and commentator Chiney Ogwumike, Rogue Insight Capital, Bakari Sellers, 10X Capital, True Capital Management and Ares Management’s Nate Walton.
Overtime plans to use the latest funding to build internal capabilities around NFTs (non-fungible tokens), trading cards and sports betting features tailored to younger sports fans. In addition, Overtime will continue investing in its sports app, which provides stats, scores, analysis, humor, culture and other content.
And the company will invest in the recently announced Overtime Elite (OTE), the company’s new high-school basketball league. That will include guaranteeing salaries for all OTE athletes — of at least $100,000 per year — and hiring a dedicated staff of more than 80 employees (about half of which will be involved in content production). OTE’s inaugural season is set to begin in September 2021.
Overtime claims its content generates more than 1.7 billion views per month. It says it has an audience of nearly 50 million followers on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and other social networks.
“When Overtime first launched, we were known for our raw and authentic sports highlights from across the globe,” Overtime’s 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.”