VC name: Courtside Ventures

Headquartered: New York, NY

Founded: 2014

Founders: Vasu Kulkarni, Deepen parikh


Sector: Sport Tech (Digital Media, Fitness, Wellness, Gaming + ESports)

VC type: Micro VC

Typical seed investment range: $500k to $2.5M (Seed or Series A stage).

Courtside Ventures invest in early-stage founders that are transforming the intersection of sports, technology, and media. Built on the backs of highly specialized sports and media entrepreneurs and investors, Courtside Ventures look to utilize their industry networks and deep domain knowledge to bring unparalleled value to their companies. They build long-term partnerships with management, by providing ongoing strategic support across all aspects of operations.

Total number of investments: 55

Total number of exits: 4

Courtside Ventures’ latest startup investments:

Source: Crunchbase

This week, we interviewed Vasu Kulkarni, Partner at Courtside Ventures, to discuss his VC’s investment thesis, area of focus, and what he is typically looking for when investing in startups.

Q1. What are the areas of investments that your VC is focusing on? Why?

At a high level, we focus on areas where the next generation is spending their time and money. Specifically, that’s sports, collectibles, health / wellness, and gaming. We believe that these are areas that generalist VCs have ignored for a long time, while being verticals that our partners have a ton of experience in.

Q2. What are you typically looking for when investing in startups?

Market size is always the biggest concern for us, so we spend more of our time trying to understand the true market size of a concept. Then we focus on founders and why they are the right group to solve a certain problem. After that we look at everything from product quality to design philosophy, distribution plan, etc.

Q3. What do you think is the state of the sports tech industry after a year with COVID-19?

Sports is back with a vengeance. We think there is a ton of pent up demand for people to be outdoors and active, and sports will be the beneficiary of this. Certainly a number of companies had a rough year, but if they managed to survive, we think they will be stronger on the other side.

If you want to learn more about CourtsideVC, feel free to check out our Upside podcast interviews below with Vasu Kulkarni and Kai Bond at Courtside Ventures.

Upside Chat: Vasu Kulkarni, Partner (Courtside Ventures)

Upside Chat: Kai Bond, Partner, Courtside Ventures, on the Gaming/Esport Market