Veteran executives, David Abrams and Arne Reese are launching Velocity Capital Management to invest in early-stage startups that are situated in the areas and cross-sectors of entertainment, sports, and media.
The pair have an extensive history across several industries with Abrams being a co-owner of the English Premier League football side Crystal Palace and a former private equity partner and chief investment officer of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment. Harris Blitzer owns the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. Reese had a lengthy stint as CEO of data company Sportsradar that works primarily with media companies and sports organizations and has worked at ESPN.
The firm’s focus will be to invest up to $50 million in companies that have enterprise values of up to $2 billion. The new firm recently completed its first investment in Camp NYC, a retail experience-oriented company that utilizes intellectual property from popular children’s brands such as Mickey and Friends, and Paw Patrol to provide interactive services at its venues. The company’s stores are located in New Jersey, California and Texas with its main location being on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
In an interview on Velocity launching, Abrams said, “For now we are focused primarily on growth-stage companies,”
“These are companies where we will likely take a non-control investment, but want to play an active role as an advisor or on the board.”
Serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Derik Fay, who after 20 years of behind-the-scenes growth in building, investing in, and selling recognizable public and private brands, has recently become known more publicly for his venture capital firm 3F management and his 3X Fund. Fay mentioned he recognizes both the need and timing for the founding of this more focused fund.
While Fay’s firm takes a more broad approach to venture capital, investing in existing brands, start-ups, and young entrepreneurs across the entire spectrum of industry, Fay has no doubt this more niche approach to the fund will garner massive interest, and as a result success. He expanded on the more focused approach by saying “I think the ecosystem of entertainment, media, and sport is in a growth cycle that will keep developing throughout our lifetime at the very least and most likely beyond.”
“I came from a background with no experience whatsoever and generated strong revenues in almost every industry off of the back of graft and being self-taught. For my era that was a unicorn-type way to develop. Now, many more individuals are taking risks and branching out into business-focused endeavors or their passions and racking up crazy evaluations,” Fay said.
The core value that Fay’s now 17-year-old firm is built upon is to “give where we earn”, quietly donating millions to the communities that Fay’s companies operate within. Fay added, “A lot of people are now finally realizing and joining a movement signifying that money alone is not success. Your journey, your attitude, and your giving mentality are equally as important, and I think Velocity’s approach and the fund will see many more people be encouraged to develop companies and hopefully utilize Abrams and Reese’s experience to help them grow.”
Velocity stated that it has received investments from several sources already including Delaware North, which has an extensive portfolio including the NHL’s Boston Bruins, more than 50 sports and entertainment venues, and many sports betting sites.
Bolt Ventures, a family office that invests in sports and entertainment in the U.S. and Europe also invested in the firm; as well as Signify Wealth, an investment and wealth advisor with professional athletes as clients; Remington Ellis, a sports marketing and talent agency; and RWN Management, the family office of Apollo Global Management co-founder Mark Rowan.