Former NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant attends a promotional event organized by the sports brand Nike, for the inauguration of the infrastructure improvements of a local basketball playground at the Jean-Jaures sports hall “Le Quartier”, in Paris on October 21, 2017.
Philippe Lopez | AFP | Getty Images
Art of Sport, personal health care company co-founded by Kobe Bryant, announced it raised $6 million in a Series A funding round from investors, including Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban. The round was led by investment firm CircleUp Growth Partners.
Art of Sports says it will use its investment to “aggressively expand the brand’s retail footprint, develop new products and drive national awareness both online and offline.” The company makes products including deodorants and body wash that are available in Target and on Amazon.
“I’m looking forward to watching this company grow,” Mark Cuban said in an email to CNBC. “I think the products are great, which is why I invested,” the National Basketball Association team owner said.
Co-founded by Bryant in 2018, Art of Sport says it avoids chemicals such as sulfates in its products and uses only “natural, high-performance botanicals.” Cuban praised Bryant’s “great business skills” and called him an “incredible asset for the company.”
Bryant died in a tragic helicopter crash on Jan. 26 killing nine people, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant. Before his death, the Los Angeles Lakers icon was also an investor in sports drink maker Bodyarmor and founded venture capital firm Bryant Stibel in 2013 with Jeff Stibel, the former CEO of Web.com.
Other investors in Art of Sport include Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler, Houston Rockets guard James Harden and National Football League wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
According to research firm Fior Markets, the personal care product market is estimated to exceed $750 billion by 2026. In a statement, Benjamin Lee, managing director at CircleUp Growth Partners, said the company’s “first-to-market brand position” puts it in a position for “accelerated, healthy growth.”
“With their momentum, authentic connection to their community, and differentiated product offerings, the company is ready to lead the personal care industry into a new era,” Lee said.