Category: toronto

June 1, 2019 Off

Startups net more than capital with NBA players as investors

By Jill T Frey

If you’re a big basketball fan like me, you’ll be glued to the TV watching the Golden State Warriors take on the Toronto Raptors in the NBA finals. (You might be surprised who I’m rooting for.)

In honor of the big games, we took a shot at breaking down investment activities of the players off the court. Last fall, we did a story highlighting some of the sport’s more prolific investors. In this piece, we’ll take a deeper dive into just what having an NBA player as a backer can do for a startup beyond the capital involved. But first, here’s a chart of … Read the rest

May 2, 2019 Off

Activision Blizzard has five franchises lined up for its new Call of Duty esports league

By Jill T Frey

Activision Blizzard said it has lined up five franchises for a new, city-based Call of Duty esports league.

Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Paris and Toronto will all play host to franchise teams that will compete in a professional league based on what is perhaps Activision Blizzard’s most successful title, the company announced after its earnings call earlier today.

Each city is partnering with existing Overwatch League team owners to leverage the existing framework that Activision has labored over for the past few years to lay the groundwork for a global, city-based Call of Duty league, the company said.

The first teams are Atlanta Esports Ventures, the joint venture owned by Cox Enterprises and Province Inc.; the Envy Gaming esports team, which has been active in Call of Duty competitive play since 2007 and with the Dallas Fuel Overwatch league team; New York’s Sterling.VC, a sports media company backed by Sterling … Read the rest

April 25, 2019 Off

Mejuri raises $23M Series B to serve women buying jewelry for themselves

By Jill T Frey

New Enterprise Associates, the 42-year-old venture capital firm, has invested in the $23 million Series B round for Mejuri, a startup capturing millennial women’s penchant for affordable and treat yo’ self type of jewelry rather than diamonds and precious stones for special occasions.

It’s the latest instance of startups drawing investor interest with their direct-to-customer retail model. Based in Toronto and Buenos Aires, four-year-old Mejuri designs, makes and sells jewelry directly to women online and through offline showrooms, bypassing middle-person costs. Besides striving for reasonable prices, Mejuri also wants to upend an entrenched practice in its industry.

Traditional jewelry, the startup points out, targets men for gifting and makes higher markups acceptable. With its D2C play, Mejuri believes it’s putting the purchasing decision back with women; indeed, it found 75 percent of its customers are buying for themselves. Its team of 120 employees is constantly on the watch for … Read the rest