Naomi Osaka has made herself known as not only a professional athlete but a boss with numerous business ventures.
Within her creative bubble, the mom-to-be has tapped into media. As previously reported by AfroTech, Osaka launched her media company Hana Kuma in partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Company in June 2022.
Now, the freshly formed company has raised capital. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hana Kuma raised $5 million in a funding round.
Among the participants for the investment were SpringHill — which the company will spin off from — Epic Games, Boston Red Sox owner Fenway Sports Group, The Kinoshita Group, and technology investment firm Disruptive.
“We really want to see her build her own version of SpringHill,” Carter told the outlet. “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.”
The funding is set to go towards expanding Hana Kuma’s team and programming, as well as creating “a more robust business plan.”
Osaka founded Hana Kuma alongside Stuart Duguid with the mission to produce culturally specific stories that tackle prevalent issues, especially regarding people of color and women.
“We’re having the opportunity to tell you stories that I haven’t necessarily seen before, and I think that’s what kind of drew me to it,” Osaka shared. “I come from Japan and Haiti and of course America too, and I have a very different heritage and upbringing than a lot of different people. And I know that there’s a lot of other people that are like me, and just trying to utilize that. I’m just telling the stories that I think are interesting, and I think that people would want to hear like Mink! [Hana Kuma’s first documentary short film], which is also really educational.”