Supernode Global has rebranded with its £28m venture capital fund for media technology start-ups.
The rebranded VC brings together Rooks Nest Ventures and media networking community Supernode in what CEO Michael Sackler believes will give media tech start-ups access to capital, while giving investors a route to the most exciting start-ups. Merging both sides of his business will create a holistic platform.
To date, the old VC side, Rooks Nest Ventures, has made 14 early stage seed investments with an average investment of £400,000.
“We’ve done a little bit more and a little bit less,” said Sackler.
Supernode Global will invest in eight companies per year.
Portfolio companies Sackler is particularly excited about include home workout app Fiit, which is in a Series B funding round; Rap Tech Studios, a rap app development company and social media platform for hip-hop fans; and Good Human, a searchable platform for sustainable brands, pitched as a cross between Amazon and Pinterest.
Supernode Global focuses on media infrastructure, both either consumer-facing user-generated-content platforms such as Rap Tech or the under-the-bonnet technology which powers those platforms.
“Any companies that are creating the picks and shovels of the media industry,” said Sackler.
He highlights mobile 3D games engine Unity, which sits under the hood of many of today’s popular games, as the kind of business he would like to invest in.
Sackler is evangelical about the potential of media technology, arguing the sector has been underserved or even ignored by most venture capitalists.
“These companies that are starting up now are going to have a huge influence on how individuals view the world and possibly even the way society even operates. It’s undervalued and possibly even ignored. You’re consuming media all day every day on these platforms,” he said.
Having founded Rooks Nest Ventures in 2017, the former film producer and angel investor began thinking about creating a global community for mediatech startups and investors last year.
Sackler said: “We thought, let’s focus on building a community which focuses on early stage media technology start-ups where they will get access to the best minds in the business. We didn’t want it to be just a top-of-the-funnel marketing exercise for us. We want to provide every resource we can for start-ups in this space, including venture capital.”
To date, Supernode is creeping up towards 1,000 handpicked members. Although membership is open to all – something which Sackler feels is important for diversity – those members are vetted before joining.
Sackler, a scion of the philanthropic Sackler family, believes that Supernode Global can act as a flywheel, accelerating the development of mediatech.
Sackler said: “We can provide access to a whole range of different services, whether it’s access to capital or talent, partners, workshops, peer-to-peer education, offering both access to start-ups and deal flow for investors.”