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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Athletes Unlimited Receives $30M to Fund Women’s Leagues

  • The company’s investors include Kevin Durant’s 35V, David Blitzer, and Angela Ruggiero.
  • Co-founder Jonathan Soros said he hopes the new funds will help the leagues continue their momentum.
Athletes Unlimited

Athletes Unlimited, the multi-sport women’s league launched in 2020, has completed its first outside capital raise.

The company announced a $30 million funding round on Thursday that included Kevin Durant’s 35V, David Blitzer, and Angela Ruggiero. 

Athletes Unlimited began with a softball league in 2020 and ballooned to run women’s volleyball, lacrosse, and basketball leagues. Instead of having set teams, players rotate for each competition, earning individual points.

The company has grown in popularity. 

  • AU most recently signed a media deal with ESPN for softball and lacrosse. 
  • It boasts major sponsors like Nike and GEICO
  • It has a star-studded list of advisors, including Durant, Rich Kleiman, Jessica Mendoza, Taylor Rooks, and Abby Wambach.
  • Each sport has drawn top athletes —  its basketball league featured Lexie Brown, Natasha Cloud, and Courtney Williams in its inaugural season. 

The league provides players with decent salaries given the short seasons — it planned to offer 44 women’s basketball players more than $1 million in aggregate, or an average of $20,000 per person. 

Room For Growth

Athletes Unlimited, a designated Public Benefit Corporation, seeks investors aligned with its athlete-oriented ethos.

“These investors share our vision and our ambition to not only reimagine professional sports, but also to rethink the way a business can — and should — show up in the world,” Jonathan Soros, Athletes Unlimited co-founder, said. 

Soros said he hopes the new funds will help the leagues continue their momentum.

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