100k Milestone - Now Back Us
We have hit £100k thanks to a single investment that came in last night. I believe mine and Cassian's previous track record to deliver success is helping us.
Cassian's sale of his movie Mudbound for $12.5m to Netflix at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017 (the biggest sale of that year at Sundance) is well documented, but you may not know much about me.
In 2000, my brother Andrew and I started - www.BusinessesForSale.com - which is today the world's largest business for sale website. It turns over £3.5m and makes just shy of £1m profit. I am the Chairman of that company, which has a great management team in place - so my time commitment is a monthly board meeting, a Monday morning meeting with the entire team and one hour per day "checking in" with the brilliant staff that I work with. I am at the office every day and I practise (famously within the office) MBWA (Management By Walking About).
The rest of my time is now dedicated to making Movie Collective a successful business.
In January 2000, we raised £1.7m of private equity for BusinessesForSale.com in the first dot
com boom. By March 2000, Boo.com (an online fashion business) had gone spectacularly bust (to the tune of many 100s of millions) and many of our investors in BusinessesForSale.com suddenly wanted their money back.
However, I made a promise to them that I would deliver a successful and profitable business that would deliver dividends. In 2000, with the internet written off as a gimmick, not many believed (none believed) and many shareholders who had paid £1 per share, allowed us to buy them back at 10p per share - so they could crystalize their losses. We also had many employees who didn't believe and they also sold their share options back to us.
Many of those original shareholders and employees are now kicking themselves and I would be lying if I said this did not give me any pleasure.
I believe Movie Collective will go on an even more spectacular journey, if we get the backing next week, when are live publicly on Crowdcube. The management team of Cassian, myself and Matt Wood and the young talent of Muireann Price and Evan Arnold - together with the PR and Marketing expertise of Will Wood and Milica Kastner is a great mix.
None of us are taking a salary from Movie Collective and my goal is to pay a dividend to all shareholders by making and selling great movie and TV products.
Lots of prospective investors have written to me in the last week about what kind of return they can expect.
We have to make assumptions. But my goal, my target, is that once the films start getting made, I want to start paying back a return between 10% and 20% - year on year. So, that means if you invest £10, that means I want to give you between £1 and £2 back. Ideally within the first year.
For those that who don't understand the concept of a dividend flow, it means that each year you get some of the money you invested back as a dividend, but you still keep the shares in the company. If we have a "hit"with a project, we can pay a bigger dividend, or if the company gets sold, then your shares, which will hopefully be worth more than you paid for them, will deliver a profit on your investment.
But the principle is that you invest for the long term and we build a film business. I know how to build a business. I know what makes a good movie. Cassian and I, are on paper, a dream team.
Our business plan has money coming in quite quickly on the assumption that our first movie, Utopia Road, gets sold to someone like Netflix quickly. But if that doesn't happen then the return is delayed by a year because we will go down the traditional distribution sales route. If we raise more than the minimum of £500k then we can accelerate the other projects on the slate and make faster returns.
We have no debt, no large costs. My office here at Dynamis House is rent free. I cannot wait to get started. Back me and Cassian and if you don't we will work our guts out to make you regret it. If you do, we will work our guts out to make you regret you did not invest more. That is the definition of building shareholder value.