Just Go Grind Podcast: Marlon Nichols Of MaC Ventures On Finding Trends First

On this week's episode of Just Go Grind, hear from Marlon Nichols, founding managing general partner at MaC Venture Capital, a seed-stage venture fund whose investments run from $1.5 million to about $2 million. Their focus is on emerging behavioral and cultural trends plus technology that enterprise will need to stay current.


How does the firm find what's new before anyone else? Marlon says it's their extensive network of people with their fingers on the pulse of pop culture — "from movie stars to movie makers to musicians and producers that are traveling the world and are seeing a ton of things, to relationships with some of the top global advertising agencies" — and once MaC VC hears a trend repeating, they investigate it to see if it's "real."

The decision making is collaborative at MaC VC, made up of co-founders from M Ventures and Cross Culture Ventures, Marlon's previous firm. Merging their companies made sense because they had been co-partnering on many investments, the partners had known each other personally for many years, and they wanted to create a larger investment fund and vehicle. They took six months to actively work together in order to gain confidence in their compatibility. Marlon says, "we wanted to source deals together, evaluate those deals together, learn each other's quirks and and habits, likes and dislikes, pet peeves — all those things." All this to build a firm that is a "multi-fund, multi-decade relationship."

On this episode, hear about how Marlon got into venture capital, what institutional limited partners are looking to invest in and what's next for MaC VC.

Marlon Nichols is a founding managing partner at MaC Venture Capital (formerly Cross Culture Ventures), which finds entrepreneurs who are building the future for the rest of America. He's a former Kauffman fellow and investment director at Intel Capital, where he launched Intel's $125M diversity fund. Marlon, with an extensive background in technology, private equity, media and entertainment, has a unique eye for global trends and shifts in consumer behavior. This has helped him capture high-potential investments, which include Gimlet Media, MongoDB, Thrive Market, Fair, LISNR, Mayvenn, Blavity, Pipe, Wonderschool and other companies that reflect overlooked markets. He serves on the board of directors for Ajua, Blavity, Finesse, Kauffman Fellows Program, LISNR, Ryff, Sote and Wonderschool. (from MaC website).

Laurel Moglen, dot.LA Sr. Podcast Producer and Editor, contributed to this article.


Want to hear more episodes of Just Go Grind? Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts — or wherever you get your podcasts.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Netflix's dominance in a crowded streaming market may be showing signs of waning, but chief executive Reed Hastings isn't worried about Disney Plus or any of the other streaming services nipping at its heels.

"Our largest competitor for TV viewing time is linear TV," Hastings said on Tuesday's earnings call. "Our second largest is YouTube, which is considerably larger than Netflix in viewing time. And Disney's considerably smaller."

Read more Show less

Santa Monica-based business-to-business music licensing marketplace Songtradr is diving deeper into livestreaming with its acquisition of Pretzel, a Washington-based startup.

Pretzel focuses on licensing music to livestreamers on Twitch, Youtube and other platforms where gamers and influencers have flocked during the pandemic, often setting their live videos to music. According to Twitch representative Samantha Faught, the total number of streamers making money on its platform doubled in 2020 from a previous all-time high in 2019.

Read more Show less

Los Angeles startup PeaTos brands its products as an alternative to "junk food" like Cheetos and it just nabbed a former executive from competitor Frito-Lay, maker of the neon orange puffy chip.

Read more Show less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS

Trending