Marshall Sandman is the founder of Animal Capital: A Gen Z focused capital fund.
They have partner with some of the biggest influencers in the world and have seen incredible results.
And that’s no small feat. It’s a crowded field and they’re not just up against the traditional venture capital funds anymore. They’re also competing with athletes and celebrities, who have their own funds.
But what separates Animal Capital, from their competition, is their 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’t.
Sandman said, “We love working with creators. They are inherently hungry. The market is crowded, so if they have made it this far; it’s because they have been able to capture the attention of an audience for a long period of time. That hunger and drive to succeed, and their often-innovative approach to business, are things that they share with the founders that we invest in.”
It’s easy to look at 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 companies.
They know how to generate revenue, how to hire the right people, how to manage employees, how to keep expenses low, etc. They have already founded, and run, a successful business.
And these big influencers don’t just write a check to Animal Capital. They are actually working side by side with Sandman and his team.
He said, “Our influencers do all sorts of work for our profile companies: From being on the phone to help close the deal or helping to get venture capital firms to let us in on their deals by showing what they can do to add value to their businesses. They really dig their feet in and do the work! Often times people, like Noah Beck, will have ideas for entirely new businesses that we should be a part of.”
Sandman continued, “Noah Beck just did a deal with Casper, the number one D to C mattress brand in the world. And to be able to access the CEO, the CMO and the COO of Casper and getting them to do a deal with one of my little startups is really special. The way that our influencer partners can help the founders is something that really differentiates us from our competition.”
And for the young entrepreneurs out there who are looking for funding, Sandman has some great advice.
He said, “The reality is that you are 50% of whatever you do at your business and you are 50% a fundraiser and a salesman and a marketer. So, you really need to get good at selling your business to investors.”
He recommends learning from what is working for others. If you see something from another founder’s pitch, that you like, incorporate it into yours.
And finally, he has some great advice that can be applied to both business and life.
Sandman said, “Have those hard 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. It could be your kid’s tuition money. You may put those tough conversations off for six months but I guarantee you that they’ll be worse than they are today.”