Fantasy Life Raises $2M from NFL Stars Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase

Posted on: August 15, 2023, 01:42h. 

Last updated on: August 16, 2023, 01:09h.

Fantasy Life, the fantasy sports and betting media property founded by Matthew Berry, reportedly closed a $2 million financing round led by multiple professional athletes and celebrities.

Fantasy Life
NBC Sports fantasy analyst Matthew Berry. His company, Fantasy Life, secured $2 million in funding. (Image: Yahoo Sports)

Axios broke news of the “friends and family round” earlier Tuesday. Participating investors include Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and his favorite target, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, and singer John Legend.

LRMR Ventures, the family office of Lebron James and entrepreneur Maverick Carter, were also involved in the financing round. Jacksonville Jaguars owner Tony Khan also invested in Berry’s company, as did Miami Marlins coowner Roger Ehrenberg. Startups with ties to the sports betting industry have long attracted team owners, with now publicly traded DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) and Sportradar (NASDAQ: SRAD) among the examples.

Berry founded Fantasy Life in 2020, naming the company after his 2013 book by the same name. Last year, he departed ESPN for NBC Sports because the Comcast unit promised him latitude and support to build out Fantasy Life.

Fantasy Life Checks Important Startup Boxes

Although it’s a young company, Fantasy Life is accomplishing some things that many emerging growth firms struggle with: it’s operating in lean fashion (it has 13 staffers) and it’s already profitable.

Berry told Axios the company is generating seven figures in revenue annually. The bulk of those sales are sourced via advertisements. Ads currently on the site include those from BetMGM and Underdog Fantasy, among others. Currently, Fantasy Life’s content is free, though Berry noted to Axios that it’s possible the site will feature some premium options in the future.

There’s precedent for daily and season-long fantasy sports participants paying for lineup-building advice. And the sports wagering space has a long history of retail bettors paying for picks. But there’s also significant subscriber churn in those segments.

Fantasy Life features an array of free tools for bettors and fantasy players alike, including parlay calculators, player prop projections, trade ratings, fantasy rankings, and more.

Fantasy Life Attracts Other Investors, Too

In addition to the aforementioned stars who participated in the Fantasy Life funding round, “traditional” investors involved in the financing include gaming analyst Chris Grove, Bruin Capital CEO George Pyne, private equity investor and former Cleveland Browns president Alec Scheiner, investor and operator Jason Stein, and FOX Bet CEO Kip Levin, according to Axios.

Grove is a managing partner at Acies Investments, which lists 22 portfolio companies on its website, including Underdog Fantasy and