Joining several other retailers with in-house investment, Dick’s Sporting Goods has announced the launch of DSG Ventures. This $50 million fund will initially focus on companies that directly serve athletes and their communities or help Dick’s better serve its customers. The investment stage focuses on pre-seed, seed, and series A/B rounds. Dick’s expects to provide support beyond the capital, such as help with operational disciplines, distribution reach, retail expertise, and customer relationships.
The investment hub is also working with VentureFuel Inc., the New York City-based marketing company, to identify startups that could collaborate with retailers around e-commerce, the in-store experience, or AI. According to CB Insights, corporate venture-backed funding reached $86.9 billion in 2021, strongly recovering from $40.5 billion in 2020. Among other retailers, Ulta Beauty, Amazon, Chipotle, and Home Depot have launched funds this year primarily focused on emerging technologies.
“Dick’s would not be what it is today without the support we received along the way from others who saw our company’s potential,” said Ed Stack, Dick’s Executive Chairman and the Founder’s son. “Now DSG Ventures will enable us to give back and help support entrepreneurs achieve their dreams through our connections, experience, and support.”