June 6, 2012 / 6:25 PM / 7 years ago

Fanatics raises $150 million at rich valuation

(Reuters) - Fanatics.com has raised $150 million from venture firms Andreessen Horowitz and Insight Venture Partners in an investment that values the online sports retailer at $1.5 billion, a person familiar with the matter said.

The sale of a 10 percent stake to the two firms shows that some companies can still raise money at a rich price, even as Facebook Inc’s plunge on public markets since the company’s initial public offering last month has many investors questioning valuations.

Venture firms normally value online retailers at 1.0 to 1.5 times revenue, so this deal puts Fanatics at the high end of that range.

The Fanatics investment is tied to the company’s purchase of another online retailer, Dreams Inc, which runs sports-merchandise sites FansEdge and Field of Dreams. Fanatics had previously said it would acquire Dreams for $183 million in cash and debt.

Together with Dreams, Fanatics should take in revenue of about $1 billion this year, the source said. Last year, the two retailers took in $665 million in revenue combined.

The news of the Fanatics investment was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Ebay Inc spun off Fanatics last year, along with Rue La La and ShopRunner. Together, the three online retail companies make up Kynetic LLC.

Insight’s Deven Parekh will take a board seat at Fanatics.

Reporting By Sarah McBride in San Francisco; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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