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Startups

A tribute to Kobe Bryant, the selfless Techpreneur

kobe bryant dead

The world over has mourned the sudden death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday in California. Bryant, aged 41, was heading to a Mamba Sports Academy game at the time when the helicopter crashed.

Much as he wrote his story in the history books through the achievements he garnered as a sportsman, Bryant was a selfless entrepreneur off the court.

In 2013, he co-founded venture capital firm Bryant Stibel along with Web.com founder Jeff Stibel. The partnership would turn out to be a $100 million venture capital fund that gives life to tech startups seeking a way out of the birth stage.

The firm now has more than $2 billion in assets, with investments in dozens of technology, media and data companies. Additionally, Bryant Stibel claims at least 10 successful exits, including Dell and Alibaba. It also has investments in Fortnite creator Epic Games, digital payment company Klarna and household products firm The Honest Company.

In 2014, Bryant invested a 10% stake in sports drink BodyArmor, which is now said to be worth $200 million after Coca-Cola purchased a stake in the firm. Bryant was once quoted to state that he hoped to be remembered for his investments just as much as his NBA career when speaking with CNBC in 2016.

“If you really want to create something that lasts generations, you have to help inspired the next generation, right? They create something great. And then that generation will inspire the one behind them. That’s when you create something forever.”

In 2016, Bryant founded Granity Studios, a media company that focuses on creative storytelling around sports. Through this company, the basketball star wrote and narrated a short film called “Dear Basketball,” which won the Academy Award for best animated short film in 2018. 

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