Diana Marszalek 04 Oct 2021 // 2:29PM GMT
SAN FRANCISCO AND BERLIN — Michael Young and Tilo Bonow, founders of Millwright Holdings and Berlin’s Piabo respectively, have launched a $10 million venture fund to fuel new agencies worldwide.
MXP Ventures is focused on building and rapidly scaling new agencies across the marketing services spectrum. The company has already funded two agency startups — Lydia Hoye’s Bound to Prosper and Mark Pinnes’ Upside PR, both London firms.
"We found people who have the experience, the background and the passion to start their own agency, but what they want to be is global from day one and be part of something bigger,” Young said.
In addition to funding, MXP startups get access to Millwright and Piabo’s global teams, business opportunities, back-office support and immediate salaries. MXP’s target markets currently include the UK, France, Germany, Singapore and the US.
Young said the effort grows out of the increased interest among PR professionals to start their own firms, but the need to have financial and professional backing to do so. MXP’s current goal is funding 50 startups.
The approach is a change for Young, who has been growing Millwright with a focus on acquisitions, adding that there is as much opportunity in investing in the right people as the right agency.
“In order to find that next generation of founders, we’re not going to buy them we’re going to build them,” said Young, Sure, we can buy someone who really wants to leave. Or we can find someone who really wants to grow.”