Naomi Osaka and LeBron James’ Hana Kuma Secures Investment from The Players Fund

The Players Fund, the UK's first athlete-led venture capital firm, has joined forces with LeBron James, Epic Games, Nike, and Fenway Sports Group to support Hana Kuma, the Emmy-nominated production company and creative platform founded by tennis champion Naomi Osaka and agent Stuart Duguid.

The Players Fund, a collective of over fifty elite sportspeople, focuses on connecting top athletes with early-stage companies. The investment in Hana Kuma marks one of The Players Fund's initial ventures, adding to its portfolio of early-stage businesses across the UK, Europe, and the US.

By investing in Hana Kuma, The Players Fund provides athlete investors access to a dynamic new media and content production company. Hana Kuma has garnered acclaim for producing notable projects such as the Emmy-nominated New York Times op-doc "Mink," Bloomberg's original "Footsteps," and the video podcast "Good Trouble With Nick Kyrgios," all of which highlight multicultural stories and perspectives for a diverse, youthful audience.

This investment from The Players Fund follows Hana Kuma's initial $5 million seed round in 2023, which included backing from LeBron James' Springhill, Nike, Epic Games, and Fenway Sports Group. As a next-generation content platform, Hana Kuma is dedicated to developing proprietary intellectual property and maintaining an efficient content engine to serve brand partnerships while building long-term value.

Naomi Osaka, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hana Kuma, said: "We are thrilled to welcome The Players Fund as an investor in Hana Kuma. Their extensive network of elite athletes from all backgrounds aligns perfectly with our mission to uplift diverse voices and perspectives through innovative storytelling."

Duguid added: "With backing from The Players Fund's impactful roster of athlete investors, we can forge new partnerships and identify compelling opportunities to create meaningful, inclusive content that resonates with our audience."

Ruari Bell, Managing Partner at The Players Fund said: "We are proud to invest in Hana Kuma and join forces with Naomi's visionary team. Hana Kuma's fresh approach to content creation and ability to tap into the influential Gen-Z market present an exciting opportunity for our athlete investors."

Fergus Bell, Managing Partner at The Players Fund added: “What Naomi, Stuart and the team at Springhill are building with Hana Kuma shall be the framework for diverse storytelling for years to come. We have waited a long time for a female athlete-led content platform and believe that with The Players Fund’s global network, we can truly accelerate the Hana Kuma roadmap alongside partners such as Epic Games, Fenway Sports Group, Nike and LeBron James.”