Kobe Bryant had a second act as an investor after retiring as a basketball legend

Kobe Bryant

Following a storied career in basketball, Kobe Bryant's second act was in investing.

In 2016, at the tail end of his 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant started Bryant Stibel, a $100 million venture-capital fund with Jeff Stibel, an entrepreneur and investor. The fund was backed by Bryant and Stibel's own capital, and targeted technology, media, and data companies, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Bryant and Stibel had been investing in companies alongside each other since 2013, but decided to formally start a fund when Bryant retired from basketball, according to The Journal.

Bryant, 41, was tragically killed Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna "Gigi" Bryant was also killed in the crash, along with seven other people.

Bryant told CNBC in a 2016 interview that he hoped to be remembered for investing more than basketball in 20 years. Championships come and go, Bryant told CNBC in 2016. "But if you really want to create something that lasts generations, you have to help inspire the next generation," he said.

Bryant poured the same passion and energy into business as he did into basketball by many accounts.

"I got tired of telling people I loved business as much as I did basketball because people would look at me like I had three heads, but I do," Bryant told ESPN in a 2017 interview. Some of the investments his firm made include Tile, a Bluetooth tracker; LegalZoom.com; and Juicero, the juice-at-home company that shuttered in 2017. Bryant Stibel also invested in companies such as Alibaba Group Holding and Dell Technologies, according to its website.

While Bryant insisted in 2017 that there was nothing to celebrate until the firm cashed out of some of the companies they'd invested in, some of his personal investments were successful. In 2014, Bryant invested about $6 million of his own money in BA Sports Nutrition, a sports drink startup. That investment surged to be worth roughly $200 million when Coca-Cola brought a minority stake in the startup in 2018, ESPN reported in 2017.