From making TikTok dances to launching a GEN.Z – focused venture capital, the future of some of these social media stars are very bright!
Josh Richards, Griffin Johnson and Noah Beck, who are three of the most popular social media stars are working on a huge project with their partners Marshall Sandman and Michael Gruen!
They recently announced the launch of Animal Capital—the first Gen. Z-focused venture capital fund with digital creator mega stars at the founder level. The fund will focus on consumer and financial technology, health and wellness and media.
Sandman, a former strategy, venture and business development executive for WarnerMedia and previously an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, and Gruen, co-founder of Talent X, a talent and entertainment management company for digital creatives, will serve as managing partners, with Richards, Johnson and Beck as operating partners.
“We’re so excited to launch this brand-new model of VC investment, which will provide traditional resources to grow brands while also driving direct awareness among millions of potential customers,” Richards said. “With the team we’ve assembled, I have no doubt that Animal Capital will set a new standard in the investment space.”
Animal Capital will provide all the services of a traditional venture fund, including fundraising, scaling companies into larger enterprises and providing go-to-market strategies. Additionally, Richards, Johnson, and Beck along with their broad network, will leverage their broad reach to tap into purchasing decisions of an entirely new generation of consumers.
“We’re focusing on nascent companies at the pre-seed, seed and series A stages because, with our large and influential platform, we believe we can really affect business outcomes for these brands,” said Sandman, who has engineered more than a dozen VC investments on behalf of Richards and the Sway House creative collective. “Though Josh, Griff and Noah are young, I give them a lot of credit for putting a team in place with a solid background and track record. It shows a great deal of maturity.”
Over the past year, the Animal Capital team has invested in several highly successful startups, including Breakr, a platform that connects artists and influencers; Step, a banking app that helps teens build a credit history and learn about financial literacy; and Super Coffee, a sugar-free, enhanced coffee line that has attracted celebrity investors such as Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez.
Beyond its core investment team, Animal Capital has assembled a top advisory team that includes Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch; Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, former Google, Amazon and StubHub executive; Jana Messerschmidt of Lightspeed Venture Partners and #ANGELS; Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss of Winklevoss Capital; and Jason Levine of NewFlow Partners.
“We want to set an example for other digital creators who maybe haven’t thought about how to leverage their value outside of the traditional endorsement structure,” Gruen said. “Digital creators have a lot to offer. They are uniquely tapped into the culture, but without a larger stake in these companies, they’re effectively leaving money on the table.”
Everyday they’re working on a new project. This one might actually turn out to be the biggest project they’re working on.
Who knows maybe Pro Sports Extra will have to reach out to them. We all know whatever they touch turns to gold. Imagine how big of a website we could build? I’m the same age as Griffin Johnson. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll have to attempt to get them involved.