Michael Morriatti, an accomplished entertainment executive, launches his new technology and entertainment venture Envisioned Capital

There is an undeniable rise of celebrities and influencers investing in technology companies. Hollywood and Silicon Valley are getting closer year after year, fancy event after fancy event. Michael Morriatti is at the intersection of entertainment and technology as an entertainment executive at WME and a prolific FinTech-focused angel investor. Morriatti has a lot to say about the two worlds with the launch of his new venture, Envisioned Capital.

Frederick Dasoz: You’ve spent most of your career as an entertainment manager in Hollywood, working with people like WME. When did you first become interested in technology companies and entertainment?

Michael Morriatti: I have always been fascinated by entertainment and technology since I can remember. I was sent to the bright lights of Hollywood and watched the Lakers with my grandfather in the 1990s as a kid and saw all the The Who’s, whose court side was a spectacle. From the moment he came off the bench, Kobe Bryant was always my favorite player. I had an instinct from an early age that he would be one of the greatest.

I’ve always wanted to build media companies around the biggest names in entertainment. This was always the goal. From a young age I was so fascinated by technology. When I started building these businesses and partnerships, I saw a niche way to expand into entertainment/technology partnerships. This is very relevant today, but it wasn’t in 2013 when I built my first company. Jerry McGuire, a fan favorite, influenced me as a kid to want to work in the representation industry.

I’ve always thought of entertainment and technology as closely related. From radio and television to now the Internet, entertainment and technology have always worked together to bring us the content we love. Entertainment is the stories we tell, and technology is the medium through which we communicate those stories.

I’ve always been interested in entertainment as a reflection of what makes us human. However, as I saw the rise of the Internet in the 2000s, I realized that technology would play a defining role in building the celebrities of the future. At that time, I devoted myself to finding not only the most disruptive stars in entertainment, but also the most disruptive technology companies.

daso: You said in previous conversations that the music industry and the movie industry are slow to adopt new technologies. What are some new technologies you’ve seen while investing that can help solve these canonical problems?

morriatti: The entertainment industry is facing disruption from new technology and can make progress in multiple areas. I believe that all music and movies should be turned into software and calculated every time a song or movie is streamed or shared, and the creators of the works should be fully compensated. I’m advocating for all artists and I think we can solve these problems with today’s technology. I started a blockchain music app in 2017 that did just this.

Working with Nipsey Hussle with this company was one of the most important partnerships I did at the time. Collect money and let fans contribute to the earnings. This was unfortunately too early; now I see companies doing this successfully. I’m still involved in music to some degree, whether I’m investing in music technology companies or a record label LoudEra, (home of Louyah) or A&Ring for one of my superstar friends because they know I’m not a yes man.

I’ve been in the studio and watched the biggest records being made with combined sales of over 80 million records, including Tyga’s TASTE, his best-selling record to date. There are huge ways the business side of music and movies can move forward. We’ll see how I and others can push the boundaries. I think we’ll continue to see the industry’s most forward-thinking embracing these new technologies and disrupting the stagnant players who don’t make the necessary investments today for tomorrow.

daso: Over the past decade, a wave of celebrities has entered the venture capital industry, either as limited partners (LPs) or standalone angel investors. How do you leverage your connections in the talent management business to add value to startups you invest in?

morriatti: I’ve brought many entertainers into some of my portfolio companies and aligned each other’s missions. This has helped move big goals forward, and everyone seems to be happy. I usually find synergies between the two and look for a more organic approach to bringing entertainers to investment companies. A client told me he made more investments with me than he played on the field last season.

I am also an investor/advisor of Bev (@drinkbev), an all-encompassing women-owned canned wine company that has transformed into a great women’s brand and media company. We continue to build Bev’s media business. Entertainers provide a unique added value by helping shape popular culture and have a large audience that trusts them for their taste. The influence can be used to amplify the mission of a company that wants to change the world for the better. This is just the beginning for them and much more!

One of the most rewarding things for me is working with a mentor, Gee Roberson. I admire his work ethic and ethos. I was able to bring him in for deals and vice versa. This was worth it as he is an absolute Maverick, and I hope to learn more from him and aspire to be considered as such.

daso: When did you first become interested in investing in technology companies, especially FinTech startups?

morriatti: I started working in technology when I started my first media company; this was after a successful exit in my first company in college and after working at a record label. I was intrigued by all the technology companies coming out at the time (Facebook, PayPal, and Amazon). I thought, what if you could partner a young entertainer at the time with a new startup like Facebook, and you could build their legacy together, maybe even help catapult them even further. Then I started building equity partnerships in startups that led to consulting, which led to investments that led to exits. That eventually led to me starting my own fund. Finance is an industry that has historically benefited from some of the most disenfranchised populations. The idea of ​​applying technology to disrupt many of these companies really appealed to me. I entered the FinTech space in 2015 based on this thesis and have seen many great companies emerge that focus on more equitable practices.

I had started buying and trading bitcoins, which made me think there was a much easier and faster way to trade with these bitcoins. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with finding a solution that eventually led me to invest in leading crypto firms such as Gemini, MoonPay, and Animoca Brands, just to name a few, which are some of the leading disruptors in their respective spaces. I hope one day to participate in creating and operating my own peer-to-peer exchange, a fair and decentralized bank, if you will.

daso: How will you evolve from a skilled angel investor in hot startups to managing a small institutional fund?

morriatti: After the current events, I became more aggressive with angel investing because I saw how quickly the world was changing for the better. I made so many investments and raised funds for so many different companies. I worked with William Andreasyan (a top USC graduate and an analyst who has worked at the top of funds). I decided it was only right that we start Envisioned Capital, whose parent company is Envisioned; a management and media company. Specializing in building media and brands around today’s greatest athletes and entertainers. We go beyond representation to build eternal brands and media companies. We just wanted to have our own fund that we can give access to our clients while still working with our favorite companies.

daso: What factors were most important in building your fund’s LP base?

morriatti: Our LPs were people we admired and are well regarded business people and top advisors. We have been so gracious to work with SPV partners and advisors.

Our network of friends and mentors has contributed to our success. We are fortunate to have LPs that are leaders in their respective industries, and the ability to draw on their collective insights gives us an edge.

Companies and the leaders I look up to in the industry are Roth Capital Partners (Byron Roth, Andrew Costa), Sound Ventures (Gee Roberson), and Electric Feel Ventures (Austin Rosen).

daso: How are you going to accelerate the intersection of technology and entertainment as Hollywood and Silicon Valley increasingly overlap?

morriatti: I will do double what I do now, investing and advising the companies, not of tomorrow but of the future. Such a future will change tomorrow for the betterment of humanity. I am a dreamer and I dream that there is a better future in the world, not just entertainment. I intend to fulfill that mission and leave my mark on future dreamers.

I hope to accelerate convergence by acting as an intermediary between two worlds. Envisioned Capital is home to the visionaries: the world’s largest companies and investors working together to build a future we can all be proud of.

Representing the icons of the future and building media companies and businesses that matter and inspire the same future dreamers.

We’ve all imagined this, and now we’re here!

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