With 14 startups under his belt and $5 billion worth of exits, Mark S. McNally wanted to use his expertise and pursue his idea of starting a studio.
“I was at a turning point in my career, three or four years ago, and was really determined to figure out whatever I did next was going to be a legacy builder,” McNally says.
That’s what McNally is hoping to do with Los Angeles-based crowd-funded venture capital studio Nobody Studios. The studio, co-founded with Barry O’Reilly, Eric Reis, Sejal Thakkar, Ray Leonard Jr. and, Meritxell McNally in 2020, announced plans earlier this month to create 100 companies in-house over the next five years. Their plan is to give anyone who wants to invest in their crowdfunding campaign, regardless of the amount invested, some influence towards the creation of new companies coming from the studio.
So far, Nobody has already raised over $260,000, surpassing its minimum goal of $25,000. But the studio is looking to raise an upwards of $5 million by the end of February to accelerate and build out more companies.
And since Nobody plans to build these companies in-house, those who invest into Nobody will earn equity across all of the startups they incubate.
Nobody is backed by the former head of Facebook gaming, senior executive from Riot Games, former CEO of Volkswagen, chief innovation officer at American Airlines and the former CEO of Coca Cola.
Nobody Studios CEO and co-founder Mark S. McNally
Due to the studio’s unique network spanning various industries, Nobody started forming advisory boards in each industry because McNally says each individual brings some significant kind of background that will benefit the creation of new startups and help the studio achieve its goal in the next five years.
With 11 startups in development, Nobody will own up to 70% of each company that it ideates, which McNally says will enable for more frequent and profitable exits.
“I was kind of instigated by seeing a lot of things I thought capital was starting to get wrong,” McNally tells dot.LA, “And don't get me wrong, there's some really fantastic VCs and they're part of our ecosystem, and they hopefully fund our companies as they grow as well.”
Oftentimes, investors throw hundreds of millions of dollars at something just to make sure it succeeds, says McNally, and while there are business models where that makes sense, he believes that “95% or more of business models aren't going to justify that type of funding.”
By his calculations, 80% of acquisitions happen under $250 million dollars. Which is why, McNally says, that if you are raising too much money early on, there is a high probability that the company is pricing itself out on “what’s probably the best possible exit for investors and founders.”
Some of the new companies currently in development include virtual event talent marketplace Ovationz, psychedelic education platform Webdelics, parent creator community platform Parentipity, full-spectrum addiction support company Prehab Life, collectibles trading app LootHoundz and predictive sleep algorithm platform Sleep Glide.
“People are really attracted to the idea of being exposed to lots of companies and the diversification of risk really resonates with a lot of people,” McNally says.
In addition, McNally notes that while Nobody is industry agnostic when it comes to the startups they create, they will have some concentration in the health and wellness space because this is an industry that he and his team is super passionate about.
Currently, the studio is also invested in one external startup called ThoughtForma, a London-based company that is focused on reducing the complexity and cost of developing technology products. McNally says that bringing on companies like ThoughtForma will help scale the future company creation along with its group of notable investors spread across various industries.
“We embraced this kind of the law of attraction and we just started telling our story,” McNally says. “A handful of relationships turned into other relationships that created this domino effect.”
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