Nobody Studios has always been about challenging the status quo—in work, in economics, and in the prevailing approach to how startups could be built.
When we set our audacious goal to launch 100 companies over 5 years we knew it would force us to think, act and be different.
We knew we would have to unlearn, and let go of the past to achieve extraordinary results.
This experience of starting a globally distributed venture studio has been uncomfortable, hard and simply astonishing at times.
Yet this moment is another amazing milestone along the way.
Over the 100 days of our now complete equity crowdfunding campaign—and as one of the first venture studios to ever offer such an opportunity to the world—we have raised over $772,000 USD from 905 new venture investors in 55 countries around the world.
We have changed how early stage venture firms can be funded, and who can own such businesses.
The world and future of venture building is now different. And we’re grateful to all of you who helped make that shift.
Money wasn’t the only goal—we targeted and achieved many!
Equity crowdfunding is a relatively new concept. We knew as one of the first venture studios to ever raise capital via equity crowdfunding we would be pioneering a new path for venture fundraising.
And while raising capital is core to any crowdfunding campaign and venture’s success, for us this crowdfunding campaign was not only about money.
The success of the campaign has firmly established Nobody Studios as a leading brand in the global venture studio ecosystem.
As one of the first to do this we are now known in places we could never have imagined only a few months ago. Investors in 55 countries is our starting point—there’s 140 more countries still to go.
And while being listed as a Top 10 venture studio late last year was an honor—we can honestly say we’re getting up each day and beginning to earn that recognition for 2023 and beyond. 🙏
Our goals were to raise capital, increase influence and attract talent. By raising awareness of the Studio, growing our network, credibility and creating another proof point on our journey we have shown the world we’re a force to be reckoned with.
Today, we have more investors, more builders and greater interest from the venture world than ever before. We are immensely proud and ready to make even bolder bets on ourselves.
Thank you for your incredible support and belief that together, we can change the world by changing how and who can create and own early stage companies.
Some Super Cool Crowdfunding Stats
What Did We Learn?
We knew as one of the first studios to ever raise capital via equity crowdfunding we would have our fair share of surprises, unexpected bumps and breakthroughs.
Here are some of the biggest lessons learned along the way—especially when doing equity crowdfunding:
The importance of preparation: Crowdfunding campaigns require a lot of preparation, from creating compelling marketing materials to working through compliance and building relationships with potential investors. You succeed in crowdfunding by crafting, testing and executing a well-planned campaign. We had plenty of surprises simply because no one had done what we did before—be that clarifications from lawyers, asks from accountants and/or requests from folks on the fundraising platform we used. Eisenhower’s quote kept repeating in our heads everyday, “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” And made a big difference.
The importance of building a community: One of the core strategies for doing equity crowdfunding was to engage with potential investors, entrepreneurs and future company builders. We wanted to create a community of Nobodies around our brand. We went from close to 100 full-time staff, part-time contractors and investors to over 1,000 fully engaged Nobodies with the 905 new investors we got in 100 days. — and 10x growth in headcount in 100 days! Each person owning a part of the business, with meaningful reasons to leverage this community to drive innovation, increase brand awareness, and get valuable feedback on the business we’re building—how’s that for exponential company growth!
The importance of a clear value proposition: In order to stand out among the thousands of campaigns vying for attention, we needed to have a clear and compelling value proposition. 100 companies in 5 years is a crisp calling card. It articulated the problem we are solving, the unique value we are offering, and why our Studio is worth investing in. It made people say, “Hell Yeah, that’s my kind of company”. Concise communication matters.
The importance of social proof: Regardless of a crowdfunding campaign, or a venture studio creating companies you must continuously provide social proof that your startup has traction and appeal. We launched with a solid set of portfolio companies people could see and understand. We had a lot of media articles from leading publications telling people why to watch us. But most importantly we kept dropping stories every Thursday to provide more proof points that we are a serious startup with momentum. By announcing two further acquisitions, in The Adjacent Possible and Ibex Labs/Punchcardz during the campaign we showed even more momentum. By demonstrating that others are willing to invest through livestreams with our investors and newly minted crowdfunders, we increased confidence in our company and campaign. Telling the story is critical. It never stops, and you always need to keep sharing it as your business evolves.
The importance of transparency: From day one we said we’d embrace transparency in the Studio. That means providing detailed information about our business and financials to potential investors. We held livestreams with all the leadership team and key members of the Studio. Our CFO, Greg walked people through our financial model. We hosted weekly Investor, Culture and Talent Roundtables where people could connect directly with the team to ask any questions about what we were doing. This level of transparency can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can help build trust with investors and demonstrate the company’s credibility. On the other hand, it can also expose areas where we need to improve. Yet the net result has only been positive. And prepared us for pointed conversations with professional capital firms interested in us from our new level of industry awareness.
The importance of a strong content and social media marketing strategy: Companies that engage in equity crowdfunding need to have a strong marketing strategy in place to attract investors, leverage influencers and arm your team with a way to share their why. We spent a long time thinking and teaching people how to put their authentic self forward. Share their story as to why they were a Nobody and what it meant personally to them. We created a compelling teaser video, an engaging campaign ad with over 250,000 views and replied, commented and liked every single piece of social media content any Nobody shared so we could leverage our existing network to spread the word. It wasn’t easy but our social followers grew by over 900% during the campaign with over 1,000,000 impressions of the content we released. It’s hard work getting the word out, but wow—it’s worth it.
The need for ongoing engagement: Crowdfunding is not a one-time event, but rather a process of ongoing engagement with investors and interested parties. When raising capital we have learned that it’s important to continue communicating with our supporters, providing regular updates, and building a sense of real time communication and connectivity. For example, when someone asked a question on our campaign page, we aimed to answer within 24 hours. And interestingly, the more questions we answered, the more questions we got. And the more answers we gave, the more people could see the depth of our campaign, company and thinking. In fact, numerous times at our Investor Roundtables attendees would note how informative the discussion form on our campaign page was. It gave people a real sense of who we were, how we operate and what we were truly about.
The ultimate proof point of a successful crowdfunding campaign is post-campaign momentum, action and results.
The campaign has generated a lot of interest and support, yet ultimately it’s another stepping stone on our path to creating 100 companies over the next 5 years.
By setting and succeeding with the proof points we want to see in our Studio, from launching companies, raising capital, sourcing new Nobodies and increasing greater awareness, every milestone is a moment to reflect then figure out how to move forward.
We’ve proven we can build companies. We’ve validated the support of the crowd through our campaign and welcomed 905 new Nobodies to our company which is now over 1,000 people.
Now it’s time to go even bigger.
The campaign has brought huge interest from professional capital firms keen to collaborate on building businesses together. We’ve decided now is the time to trigger larger investment in the Studio to increase our rate of company creation, faster growth and hire more of the amazing talent knocking at our door to get involved.
We are seeking to secure Seed funding for ThoughtForma, Ovationz and Webdelics in the next few weeks to help those businesses further scale and leave the Nobody Studios nest.
There’s never been a better time to build companies with more and more entrepreneurs asking us how they could be part of the Studio.
Our simple ask is this.
We’ve alway said talent, influence and capital is what makes our world go round. We are lucky talent is knocking at our door. The crowdfunding has established our influence as a leading venture studio in the ecosystem. Now is the time to double down on capital.
So if you are an entrepreneur, professional investor or venture capitalist looking to do something never done before with people as passionate and driven as our Nobody community, get in touch, or connect us with people you know need to meet us.
This is the adVenture of a lifetime. And we’re glad to have more Nobodies on it with us.