"Creators investing in Startups" with Marshall Sandman from Animal Capital

Are creators the new VCs? TikTok stars Josh Richards & Griffin Johnson have started Animal Capital, a $15M fund to back early-stage cos.

Every week we're hosting a founder, a creator, or an investor to chat about what they’re building in the creator economy. Listen to the previous episodes on Spotify or Apple Podcast and write us a review if you like it! 🙏

Creators are the new angel investors! They turn media cash flows into startup equity and become the quintessence of internet leverage. And after seeing an explosion in the number of creators in startup cap tables, the next step was obvious: Creators raising a VC fund.

That’s what TikTok stars Josh Richards, Griffin Johnson & Noah Beck (100M+ fans combined) have done with their new VC fund, Animal Capital. They’ve raised ~$15M and will back consumer, media & lifestyle startups from pre-seed to series A.

This makes a lot of sense. VCs spend their time justifying their added value beyond capital. Animal Capital won’t have to do that. Plus, with an average check size around $100k, they won’t have to fight their way into the best deals and most top VCs would happily get them non-threatening allocations. The best of both worlds.

That’s why we’re stoked to talk with Marshall Sandman, Managing Partner of Animal Capital on Creator Economy Club.

Animal Capital is a VC fund with a difference. It's a pioneering company aimed straight at GenZ.

Even Animal Capital's GPs and OPs are all under 30.

Marshall (age 29) brings venture experience, vetting the businesses, networking, and making investments. GP Michael Gruen (23) has already been an entrepreneur for 10+ years. And OPs Josh Richards (19), Griffin Johnson (22), and Noah Beck (20) are the Gen Z Creators using their pulling power to bring millions of fans into the game.

"It only makes sense after having seen an explosion in the number of creators and startup capitals. Well, the next step was obvious creators raising a VC fund."

Animal Capital's Limited Partners bring an impressive array of founder experience and star power to the table too. We're talking Mark Randolph (founder of Netflix), Rich Miner (co-founder of Android), Christina Aguilera, and Matt Rutler, to name a few.

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • Animal Capital brings more than finance to the table when it invests in a business; they also have LPs on board bringing their expertise and experience into the business.

"Rich Miner's helpful in the music space… Every single one of my investors provides a unique value to my founders."

  • What Marshall looks for in a business and why they're funding pre-seed and seed rather than writing million-dollar checks.

"Parallel Learning's a perfect business for us because it's personally meaningful. And we can help affect the outcome there in a bunch of different ways. They're doing something great for people and they're making money."

  • The Animal Capital "three-bucket" framework — License, Endorse and Own — and why they like to develop ecosystems.

"When all those buckets align we're able to drive big results for the business and our investors."

  • The patterns showing founders who are likely to succeed.

"Willing to pivot and know that the business as it exists that pre-seed and seed may not be the business that scales."

  • How Creators can diversify and scale their incomes, create content that keeps their core audience on board, and grow an audience to fit their new interests.

"But then they can join in new ventures like Josh starting the BFF podcast with Dave Portnoy. That widens the audience."

Clubhouse audience members join the conversation with questions and comments on Creators and products, the danger of burnout, and trends in the Creator Economy.

Where does Marshall see Animal Capital fitting into the Creator Economy?

How can Creators leverage their popularity for good and create a multi-million dollar business at the same time?

It's all there and more in this week's show.

‎Creator Economy Club: “Creators investing in Startups” w/ Marshall Sandman from Animal Capital on Apple Podcasts
‎Show Creator Economy Club, Ep “Creators investing in Startups” w/ Marshall Sandman from Animal Capital - 18 Aug 2021