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Expand chart
Data: Crunchbase; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

Fanatics has nearly tripled in value over the last year. Now, the e-commerce giant wants to expand into new businesses like sports betting, ticketing and media.

Driving the news: Fanatics closed a $325 million funding round last week that values the company at $18 billion, making it the world's 12th-most valuable private company, per CB Insights.

The top 12 include:

  1. Bytedance ($140B)
  2. Stripe ($95B)
  3. SpaceX ($74B)
  4. Klarna ($45.6B)
  5. Instacart ($39B)
  6. Revolut ($33B)
  7. Nubank ($30B)
  8. Epic Games ($28.7B)
  9. Databricks ($28B)
  10. Rivian ($27.6B)
  11. FTX ($18B)
  12. Fanatics ($18B)

How it works: Founded in 1995, Fanatics achieved "decacorn" status ($10+ billion valuation) by controlling the sports apparel supply chain. Jersey sales go through them, period. And they don't just sell clothes — they make them, too.

  • As the official retailer of licensed merchandise for many U.S. sports leagues and universities, Fanatics generates ~80% of its revenue from sales on Fanatics.com and the 300+ team and league sites it operates, per WSJ (subscription).
  • Now, it will expand far beyond that, creating new products to further monetize its database of 83 million sports fans. After all, the people buying jerseys are the same people buying tickets and placing bets.
  • In June, Fanatics formed an NFT company called Candy Digital and hired former FanDuel CEO Matt King to run its betting operations. Now, it's launching Fanatics Sportsbook.

The bottom line: Fanatics will eventually go public. Until then, there appears to be one goal as a private company: Try to take over the world.

Go deeper

Ohio youth sports (slowly) rebounding

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Health concerns from area families are keeping some children from participating in youth sports, even as recreation departments return to their pre-pandemic league schedules.

Why it matters: The pause in youth sports during the pandemic may have lasting effects on participation rates here and across the country.

  • There may also be deeper implications on children's physical and mental health, research shows.
3 mins ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media company is rebranding its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media giant to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
39 mins ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.