I first want to thank everyone for your interest in Equity Animal. As I write this on the one-month anniversary of our launch, I could not be more thankful for the support that we have received since the launch.
Starting a company is new to me and something that involves many trials and tribulations. If you were to have told me that I would be doing this two years ago while working on Microsoft Excel for 18 hours a day, I would have laughed and thought you were crazy.
When Brian Hanly and I decided to start Equity Animal, we did it because we saw an area of opportunity within a staid industry that lacked innovation, yet we have come to learn so much more – not only about the industry – but also about the individual equity stories of companies and their management who are building interesting businesses, often overlooked by investors.
Having advised on over $10 billion of mergers & acquisitions during my time as an investment banker, I learned much about the world of large cap companies – those covered by many equity research analysts and known by a majority of investors; but I had little to no exposure to small & mid cap companies.
It's been our pleasure and privilege to work directly with CEO’s and senior management of companies ranging from ~$25 million to ~$15 billion in market cap to help provide transparency to shareholders and work as corporate storytellers for our clients.
The past four weeks have been a wild and fun ride and we are incredibly thankful that since we publicly announced our launch in Bloomberg, last month, that we have been able to bring on five publicly traded companies as clients and are in discussions with many more.
For a bit of background, in December of 2020, I saw the rise of the retail investor and immediately noticed this was an untapped movement filled with opportunity. This realization is what drove me to leave my job as an investment banker at Centerveiw Partners and pursue a role on an untitled reality TV dating show. After matching with what turned out to be a casting agent on the dating app, Hinge, I knew that once I returned from the TV show, I would be forced to go out and pursue the opportunity that I was seeing with the rise of the retail investor…I would not be returning to my cubicle…as scary as a decision as that was, it turned out to be the best decision of my life.
As many of you know, the show ended up being titled FBOY Island (sorry Mom) on HBO Max. As crazy as it seemed at the time, I knew that I was on the right path, taking this risk, and pursuing an opportunity to democratize finance.
When I returned from the show, I teamed up with the anonymous individual behind the Litquidity social media account. Over a ten-month period, we grew that account and expanded its media operations, and I want to give a special thanks to this individual for the experience.
While cutting my teeth in media at Litquidity, I met Brian Hanly and the Bullish Studio team. While working with Bullish Studio, Adam Wyden, the largest shareholder of RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: RICK) reached out to me and thought that I could serve as a megaphone to help grow the reach of the company’s unique story and positioning.
Through this opportunity with $RICK, I was able to facilitate the first ever earnings call on Twitter Spaces which then led to a substantial increase in the company’s awareness among investors, increasing trading volume and social conversations, among other tangible business results.
It was this initial work with $RICK and with Eric Langan, the President and CEO of $RICK that got me thinking about the potential to disrupt the investor relations industry by:
This realization led us to start Equity Animal. In the last few weeks, we have made numerous hires and are actively recruiting unique and talented individuals. Our team is built with the commitment to bring change to how publicly traded companies communicate with shareholders, more effectively tell their stories while affording investors greater transparency to management and the larger financial community.
We are still learning, and we want to thank those that came before us like Gary Fisherman, who have provided us with invaluable mentorship and advice as we start and grow this business. We are constantly learning and evolving and look forward to continuing to provide y’all with updates as we work to facilitate the democratization of the financial markets and create a level playing field for the retail investor.
I personally, have been blessed by two phenomenal parents who helped shaped me into who I am, in addition to the countless friends and mentors that have supported me during this period – without all of you, none of this would be possible – so for that, I thank you.
Please feel free to reach out (hi @ EquityAnimal.com) with any and all comments, suggestions, funny memes, etc. and we look forward to being in touch. I hope that everyone had a phenomenal long weekend and can take a moment to remember the contributions of all the American workers before us, for which this holiday is celebrated, that have worked to advance our society and country and give us the opportunities that we have been afforded.
Until Next Time,
Mark Moran, CEO Equity Animal