MVP Wrist Game: Michael Jordan And Giannis Antetokounmpo Invest In WatchBox At $1 Billion Valuation

CBx Vibe:Money On My Mind” Lil Wayne

By Jonathan Ntege Lubwama

  • WatchBox raised $165M at a valuation close to $1B with investors including Michael Jordan and Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Pre-owned watch sales could soar to $32 billion by 2025

WatchBox, a marketplace for watches, has raised a new funding round of $165 million at a valuation close to  $1 billion. The Philadelphia-based company attracted funding from Charlotte Hornets owner and six-time NBA champion, Michael Jordan and reigning Finals MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo to participate in this round. Morgan Stanley reported Rolex sold 810,000 watches last year, Patek sold 53,000, Audemars Piguet sold 40,000 watches, and Richard Mille sold 4,300. As luxury timepieces become even more popular, are these past and present NBA stars turning the dial on a new market?

Why This Matters: The secondary luxury watch market is booming as top makers like Rolex and Richard Mille avoid increasing supply to protect scarcity around collections. WatchBox is not a peer to peer marketplace, but it buys the watches from sellers and trades them on its platform. The luxury watch market is growing steadily with  pre-owned watch sales hitting $18 billion in 2019 and could soar to $32 billion by 2025.

Luxury watchmakers like Rolex, Richard Mille, Audemars and Patek continue to make fewer watches per year in order to protect their value. Perhaps this is why Other NBA investors in WatchBox including Chris Paul and Devin Book, as well as Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry see so much value in the platform. The total amount that WatchBox has raised since 2017 is to $260 million.

What’s Next: NBA superstars continue to embody the spirit of “more than an athlete.” Apart from Giannis, Chris Paul and Devin Booker, other athletes that are active investors include Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Spencer Dinwiddie, LeBron James, James Harden and Andre Iguodala among others. Iguodala has served on the board of African eCommerce giant, Jumia since 2019. This trend is expected to increase as investing in startups is democratized and financial literacy rises.

CBx Vibe:Money On My Mind” Lil Wayne

CONTRIBUTOR

Jonathan Ntege Lubwama

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