The sports merchandise maker boosts its valuation before a likely IPO. Fanatics acquired Topps shortly after its last fundraising round.

Fanatics Inc. raised $1.5 billion in a funding round that values the sports merchandise and memorabilia company at $27 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Investors included Fidelity Management & Research Co. and funds operated by BlackRock Inc. and MSD Capital LP, said the person, who asked not to be named because the transaction was private. Fanatics Inc. is No. 36 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360’s Top 1000.

A spokesperson for Fanatics declined to comment. The news was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal, which noted that an initial public offering was likely, but Fanatics didn’t share details on the timing.

Fanatics has been adding new categories as CEO Michael Rubin looks to extend beyond sports merchandise into several new business lines. Earlier this year, and shortly after it’s last fundraising round, the company acquired trading card maker Topps Co. for $500 million.

The consumer brand manufacturer has grown to sell licensed merchandise from more sports leagues and collegiate athletic departments, like its 10-year licensing deal with the University of Miami. It is also adding new retail partners to bring its products to more customers, powering sports product assortments like Kohl’s Fan Shops. Kohl’s is No. 20 in the Top 1000.

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Fanatics’ previous funding round of $320 million a year ago came after the company’s ecommerce sales rose 20% in 2020. Sales were not disclosed during this round of funding.

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