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The confluence of pro sports and VC

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PitchBook Newsletters
Lululemon to buy Mirror for $500M; Kim Kardashian West inks $200M deal; Beachwear bankruptcy; Warburg Pincus commits $400M to Wex
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The Daily Pitch: VC, PE and M&A
June 30, 2020
Like our newsletter? The data comes from the PitchBook Platform — our data software for VC, PE and M&A
Today's Top Stories
Discussing NBA star Spencer Dinwiddie's VC ambition on 'In Visible Capital'
In the latest episode of PitchBook's "In Visible Capital" podcast, PitchBook editor Kevin Dowd breaks down his recent article, "NBA standout Spencer Dinwiddie has a VC-fueled vision for the future of stardom," which appears in the latest issue of the PitchBook Private Market PlayBook magazine.

Topics discussed in the episode include:
  • Dinwiddie's launch of venture firm Eonxi, and his bid to tokenize his $34.4 million NBA contract

  • Why Wall Street and Silicon Valley investors continue to pour billions of dollars into professional sports, even as leagues struggle with the financial fallout from COVID-19
listen here
More coronavirus news: Continuing coverage from PitchBook
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Coty doubles down on Kardashian-Jenner family
Kim Kardashian West's beauty company is now valued at $1 billion. (David Livingston/Getty Images)
When it comes to beauty mega-deals, it's getting difficult to keep up with the Kardashians.

Global beauty giant Coty, which owns brands such as CoverGirl and Sally Hansen, has agreed to pay $200 million for a 20% stake in KKW, the eponymous beauty brand of Kim Kardashian West. It's not Coty's first tie-up with reality television's first family. In January, the company bought a 51% stake in Kylie Jenner's makeup brand Kylie Cosmetics for $600 million, valuing the business at about $1.2 billion.

Jenner is Kardashian West's half-sister and a social media mogul in her own right. But the deal has faced scrutiny following a Forbes investigation published in May that found Jenner may have exaggerated her wealth.

In a statement announcing the new deal, Coty highlighted Kardashian West's unique ability to use social media to market her three-year-old company. Her husband, Kanye West, recently made business headlines, too, with the announcement of a 10-year partnership between his Yeezy brand and Gap that sent the retailer's stock up nearly 19% Friday.
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How startups are making the promise of AI and machine learning a reality
The US and China are in the midst of a global competition for leadership in AI and machine learning. And in any number of applications for these technologies, ranging from semiconductors to autonomous machines, it's a competition that is being contested via venture capital.

Our latest emerging tech report on AI and machine learning offers market maps of VC-backed companies in the vertical, technology overviews, and analysis of opportunities and risks. Other key takeaways include:
  • VCs devoted $34.3 billion to AI and machine learning deals in 2019, a 23.7% year-over-year drop due largely to declines in Chinese VC activity
  • Deal activity has been driven by vertical applications including healthcare, IT and consumer AI
  • Recent acquisition activity has been driven by sales and marketing automation, information security automation and conversational AI
To access, click here. If you have any questions or feedback about the research, we'd love to hear from you:
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Lululemon to buy home fitness startup Mirror for $500M
(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Lululemon has agreed to acquire Mirror for $500 million, just months after it backed the fitness startup in a funding round led by the venture arm of Steve Cohen's hedge fund, Point72.

New York-based Mirror is the developer of an interactive workout platform that offers live and on-demand classes from a wall-mounted screen. With a price tag of $1,495, the mirror-like device is meant to serve as an at-home gym alternative, giving users access to weekly live classes, thousands of on-demand workouts and one-on-one personal training.

Mirror will operate as a standalone company within Lululemon and be helmed by its current CEO, Brynn Putnam. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Lululemon participated in Mirror's $34 million Series B1 last year, along with backers including supermodel Karlie Kloss, Lerer Hippeau and Spark Capital. The athletic apparel retailer also has a content partnership with the startup, offering classes from its global ambassadors on the Mirror platform. Since its founding in 2018, Mirror has raised a total of $72 million.
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L Catterton-backed swimwear brand goes bankrupt
Early-morning waves lap the shore at Bondi Beach in Sydney.
(Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)
Seafolly, an Australian swimwear maker, has gone into voluntary administration, citing plummeting sales and the crippling financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Seafolly is owned by L Catterton, the private equity firm co-founded by French luxury brand group LVMH. The company has chosen KordaMentha as its administrator.

The sale process for Seafolly, which operates 44 stores in Australia and 12 overseas, will start immediately. The company was acquired for a reported $70 million in 2014 by L Capital Asia, part of the private equity arm of LVMH, with an eye to expanding the Seafolly brand globally. In 2016, L Capital partnered with US firm Catterton and Group Arnault to form L Catterton.
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