Naomi Osaka Raises $5M In A Funding Round For Her Inclusive-First Media Company

Tennis star Naomi Osaka is quickly making her mark as a media maven.

Her company, Hana Kuma, was co-founded alongside Stuart Duguid less than a year ago has already raised $5 million in a fundraising round. A spin-off from The SpringHill Co., a production company founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, they were also among investors that include Fortnite owner Epic Games, Boston Red Sox owner Fenway Sports Group, Japanese conglomerate The Kinoshita Group and the investment firm Disruptive according to a report by Hollywood Reporter.

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“You know, there was never any grand plan of ‘We’ll spend X amount of time under the SpringHill umbrella and then we’ll go and do it ourselves,’” Duguid tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It just happened very organically and naturally, and it came to the point where we decided it was time to raise financing, build out the business and hire more people and have a more robust team and a more robust business plan.”

According to the outlet, Osaka has shared that when she entered the media business last year, James and Carter told her “not to be discouraged by anything and keep trying to just push barriers and learn along the way.

“When I first set off as a tennis player, when I was a kid, I didn’t think I’d be in this position and I feel like I’m constantly learning new things,” she reportedly said.

“We really want to see her build her own version of SpringHill,” Carter also told the outlet in an interview. “We’ve worked really hard to get SpringHill where it is, but now we want to help others to do the same, and to do it different than as we have done at SpringHill, and to do it in their own way and their own voice.”

This is just the latest addition to her expanding business portfolio. She previously topped the outlet’s highest-paid female athlete list in 2020 after having raked in a reported $34 million. Since then, she’s added partnerships Louis Vuitton, Tag Heuer and Workday to a list of sponsors that already includes Nike, Beats, Mastercard and among others.

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