The late Kobe Bryant co-founded Art of Sport skincare, designed to address the unique hygienic needs of athletes and the startup just raised $6 million, in its first funding round since the NBA legend’s passing. Although a tall feat, the $6 million seed money gets them closer to the goal of increasing production in preparation for a rollout to new retail partners in early 2021.

Currently, the brand is available in Target (TGT +1.28%), and on Amazon (AMZN +2.49%), along with the company’s website.
Why This Matters: Art of Sport strives to be the king of body care to athletes in the same way that Nike (NKE +1.85%) is the king of apparel to the same demographic, kicking off a need in the market that not many are participating in. They are primarily focused on men’s skincare and products like deodorant and body wash are two consumer categories that are purchased in stores more than 90% of the time, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, Allied Market Research estimated that the men’s personal care industry would grow to $166 billion globally by 2022. Since the advent of the pandemic, that figure could balloon as working out from home has become a norm.

Because of Bryant’s involvement, athletes like NBA star James Harden and NFL Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster signed on as investors. Others include World Series Champion Javier Baez and motocross racer Ken Roczen, all of whom promote the products on social media to their 75 million+ audience.