Los Angeles Lakers basketball star LeBron James is betting on the boom in cycling with an investment in Germany’s Canyon Bicycles GmbH.
Canyon has raised 30 million euros ($30.5 million) from LRMR Ventures, the family office of James and sports marketing businessman Maverick Carter, and US private equity firm SC Holdings, according to a statement.
Both LRMR and SC will be passive minority investors and not join the Canyon board. James has not entered into any commercial agreement with the company.
“While we were not actively looking for new investors, LRMR and the SC team immediately understood our mission to build the world’s most inspiring and innovative bike company,” Canyon’s founder Roman Arnold said in the statement.
Founded in the 1980s, Canyon manufactures a range of mid-level to high-performance road, race and mountain bikes. The brand is the official partner of the pro racing group Movistar Team and Canyon//SRAM Racing women’s team. Richard Antonio Carapaz Montenegro won the prestigious Giro d’Italia in 2019 on a Canyon bike.
The Koblenz, Germany-based company is looking to expand its presence in the US, where it already generates about 25 percent of sales. Canyon revenue hit 416 million euros in 2020, a year in which bikes became an essential form of transport and exercise for people during Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.
Canyon has also been chasing growth in the market for hybrid bikes, which boost power with an electric motor and remove some of the effort from cycling.