Alex Bhathal has several highlights to point to since winning a Business Journal Excellence in Entrepreneurship award last March.
His Newport Beach-based RAJ Sports, which he leads with his sister Lisa Bhathal Merage, bought control of the Portland Thorns FC of the National Women’s Soccer League. The team was valued at around $65 million by a trade publication.
“That’s definitely a highlight,” Alex Bhathal told the Business Journal. “We believe strongly in the growth potential of the league. It has a tremendous fan base and a history of success on and off the pitch.”
The acquisition represents the latest in a growing portfolio of sports team ownership positions held by the Bhathal family, including the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, Sacramento RiverCats AAA baseball club, Stockton Kings NBA-G League club and Kings Guard NBA 2K e-sports team.
Additionally, Lisa and Alex are co-founders and managing partners of Revitate, an investment firm specializing in sports, real estate, and consumer brands. Thus far, it manages about 10 different funds in real estate such as opportunity zones and workforce housing.
Alex helped convince three heavyweights to join Revitate’s board of directors, including Chris Cox, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Jeremi Gorman, a former top executive at Netflix, Snap and Amazon; and Bill Cvengros, a former chief executive at Pacific Investment Management.
Revitate in September said it is raising $150 million for its second real estate investment fund for workforce housing. Its first fund, Revitate Cherry Tree Fund I, raised $110 million that was invested in six apartment complexes in the Midwest. Revitate Cherry Tree is a multifamily investment fund headed by former Irvine Co. alum Chris Marsh (see story, page 1).
Revitate has also led or co-led four opportunity zone funds with investment into 15 projects with an estimated total project value of $1.5 billion. Revitate executives are particularly proud of a project in Charleston, S.C., called Morrison Yard Residences, or “NoMo,” where a former storage yard for a nearby port was transformed into a complex with 380 upgraded multifamily rental units.
In November, Revitate broke ground on a 344-home Bedrock at the Trails in Albuquerque, N.M. The project was called “Best Land Deal of the Year” by Informational Management Network.
“We’re excited about that project,” Bhathal said. “This beautiful project will help address the area’s significant housing shortfall by providing 344 new rental homes.”
Revitate this year is also launching a vehicle where outsiders can invest in RX3 Growth Partners, a consumer growth equity fund where he is senior operating partner; RX3’s founders include NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers as well as Byron Roth and Nate Raabe.
“We’re definitely staying busy,” Bhathal said.