Rick Fox Forms New Private Equity Firm With Esports Focus
Former three-time NBA champion Rick Fox has joined up with a gaming industry legend and a couple of seasoned investors to launch a new private equity firm named Vision Venture Partners (VVP). The private equity firm that includes former VeriSign VRSN +0.58% CEO Stratton Sclavos, former Spectrum Business Ventures CEO Amit Raizada and CEO of Echo Fox esports team Jace Hall as partners is formed with initial investments in esports, digital entertainment and the lifestyle food and beverage sectors.
VVP indicates that it is focused on creating a "Generation Always" investment portfolio, which Sclavos says is centered on catering to today's consumer who is always connected, always social, always mobile, always interactive, always serious and always aware. He also stressed that each of the four principals will be actively involved with every aspect of the companies that VVP invests in, providing capital, executive management, talent recruitment and strategic business relationships.
"The partners have been funding the investments for the first year to the tune of double digit millions out of our own partners' capital with some small individual investors as well," says Sclavos. "The plan is to put several hundred million to work within the next 7-10 years. What's unique about VVP relative to other private equity firms is not only the capital infusions we are making, but we are also operationally hands-on."
One of VVP's primary investments is in Echo Fox, a competitive esports franchise that bears the last name of partner Rick Fox. VVP operates from a 30,000 square foot Beverly Hills office that includes three production studios that create original content for esports and an esports training facility.
VVP is also already invested in an entertainment company that is creating unique esports content to be introduced on Facebook Live in the near future. Sclavos describes the content as eight-to-nine original shows, some scripted and some unscripted, that are much more like traditional television shows and film, including comedic elements and interactivity with broadcasters and anchors.
Furthermore, VVP has secured an investment in Twin Galaxies, which has been the keeper of video game world records since 1981. It will be pivoted by VVP into a much more integrated data services play.
"We're already setting the standards in esports and we’ll do the same in other sectors," says Fox. "We want to ensure each portfolio company gets the resources they need to win."
Raizada adds that VVP has only made investments where it has majority or substantial equity in the companies it is funding. One of the unique tenets of the company is a strategy to only invest if it is going to gain control.