Game Changers: Meredith McPherron, Drive by DraftKings
Drive by DraftKings CEO Meredith McPherron recently received a prestigious Game Changer award from Sports Business Journal. Journalist Chris Smith details her path to victory:
Drive by DraftKings was founded in 2019 by the leaders of DraftKings, Boston Seed Capital, General Catalyst and Accomplice with a loose thesis around investing in sports tech. It wasn’t until Meredith McPherron took over as CEO the following year, however, that the company began its transformation into a full-fledged venture firm.
“As I started to work with them, I realized it’s not just the structure of the platform, it’s the soft tissue of how we collaborate and connect and work together that is really special,” McPherron said. “That was the beginning of what is now the Drive by DraftKings venture model that we have.”
She began raising Drive’s first fund in January 2021 and within six months was 20% oversubscribed thanks to investments from the Kraft Group, the Jones family, Todd Boehly, Arctos Sports Partners and Madison Square Garden Sports Corp., among other notable executives and companies. Those investors are part of a deliberate strategy of McPherron’s to ensure the firm and its portfolio companies have access to the industry’s key decision-makers.
With a core focus on gaming, fan engagement and human performance, Drive’s first fund has invested in 17 companies over the last year, ranging from fitness wearable manufacturer Whoop to metaverse gaming studio Toya.