Marshall Sandman is the founder of Animal Capital: an investment fund focused on Generation Z.
They’ve partnered with some of the biggest influencers in the world and achieved incredible results.
And that’s no small feat. It’s a crowded field and they’re not just up against traditional venture capital funds anymore. They also compete with athletes and celebrities, who have their own funds.
But what separates Animal Capital from its competition is its focus and deep understanding of the Gen Z space. By working alongside some of the biggest influencers in the world, they provide access to a world that other companies can not.
Sandman said, “We love working with creators. They are inherently hungry. The market is crowded, so if they made it this far; it is because they have been able to capture the attention of an audience for a long period of time. This thirst and will to succeed, as well as their often innovative approach to business, are things they share with the founders in whom we invest.
It’s easy to think of creators as one-dimensional characters that pop up in your social media feeds. But if you look behind the scenes, the successful ones are running their own multi-million dollar businesses.
They know how to generate income, how to hire the right people, how to manage employees, how to reduce expenses, etc. They have already founded and managed a successful business.
And these big influencers aren’t just writing a check to Animal Capital. They actually work side by side with Sandman and his team.
He said: “Our influencers do all kinds of work for our profile businesses from being on the phone to help close the deal to helping get venture capital firms to tell us about their business by showing what they can do to add value to their businesses. They really dig their feet in and get the job done! Often people, like Noah Beck, will have ideas for entirely new businesses that we should be a part of.
Sandman continued, “Noah Beck just struck a deal with Casper, the world’s leading D to C mattress brand. And to be able to access the CEO, CMO, and COO of Casper and get them to do a deal with one of my little startups is really special. The way our influencer partners can help founders is something that really sets us apart from our competition.
And for young entrepreneurs looking for funding, Sandman has some great advice.
He said: “The reality is that you are 50% of everything you do in your business and you are 50% a fundraiser, a salesperson and a marketer. So, you must be really successful in selling your business to investors.
He recommends learning from what works for others. If you see something from another founder’s pitch that you like, incorporate it into yours.
And finally, it has great advice that can be applied to both business and life.
Sandman said, “Have those tough conversations early. In business, it’s probably even more important than in your personal life to just rip the band-aid off because it’s other people’s money. It’s your livelihood. This could be your child’s tuition money. You can postpone these difficult conversations for six months, but I guarantee they will be worse than they are today.