nEXT 15 + MACH49

We’re excited to share our big news:
Mach49 is now part of the Next15 family of companies.

Today we are thrilled to announce that Mach49 has been acquired by Next 15.

Headquartered in London and publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange, Next 15 is the parent company for nineteen individual brands representing a range of market leading data, technology, and brand marketing businesses. They are truly a global company with amazing leadership, well-staffed offices in all major markets, and lofty aspirations, having publicly shared that “Mach49 will become the cornerstone of Next 15’s previously announced plans to create a $100m revenue innovation business.

We have actually had several acquisition offers and expressions of interest since we founded Mach49, but none of them, until Next 15, provided us with the disruptive, growth-oriented platform, the independence, the all-important cultural fit, and the long-term opportunity to help move the needle for the parent organization we desired to help Mach49 reach our own escape velocity.

We did not take this decision lightly and, in fact, have been talking to Next 15 for over a year, so we wanted to share some of the thinking behind this decision.

For global businesses, the year 2020 will be remembered as a turning point in their journey to becoming more future facing, more customer centric, and more genuinely digital.

Businesses can no longer afford to dabble in innovation or hand-wave digital transformation: they need real solutions, they need meaningful growth, they need to focus on execution. As Marc Andreessen recently wrote, “It’s time to build” — but we already knew that as we have been building and investing in ventures with clients for over six years now as Mach49 and, for many of our partners and experts/VCs-in-residence, for many more years than that — collectively generating over $50 billion in market cap in companies we have invested in, managed, created or built. No other company in the market has built a team like ours.

Traditional management consulting methods may be great for determining strategy and operations improvement but are ill-suited for building and/or investing in a pipeline and portfolio of new ventures to drive meaningful growth in these global businesses. The Fortune 500 have entrusted their futures with traditional management consultants over the past 50 years, yet during that time 88% of them have fallen off the list or have been acquired by stronger, more innovative competitors.

While companies still need vision and strategy, we decided to be there with the catcher’s mitt to help them focus on execution. We consciously decided to hire only experienced operators, to act like co-founders, not consultants and to avoid trying to be all things to all people. We have stayed rigorously focused, helping clients do four things: launch ventures, build incubators, do corporate venturing, and bring the Silicon Valley inside to seize the mothership advantage and beat the startups at their own game.

And we do those four things exceptionally well, with an amazing track record based on repeatable, scalable, teachable methodology, processes, activities, and tools developed and perfected over many years — soon to be chronicled in Linda’s book, “Disrupting InsideOut: How Companies Can Launch New Ventures at Startup Speed to Drive Growth,” to be published by Harvard Press, Spring 2021.

Long live execution.

Setting a strategic direction for your business is important. But executing on that vision is how companies will solve the big problems we see in the world. That’s where we come in. We get companies from strategy to action, from thinking to doing, from theory to accelerating ideas in the market. We build growth engines for the Global 1000.

As we watched the world’s biggest companies struggle with true innovation, Mach49 set out to develop a new approach to growth, built upon the successful practices and principles in Silicon Valley, enhanced to address the needs of global businesses, and delivered by a team of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, c-suite executives, customer development specialists, designers, and storytellers. Rather than doing it for them, we are showing clients how to do it for themselves — leveraging their own exceptional talent, ideas, brand, customers, competencies, and capital to become growth stocks not value stocks.

Six years later, and here we are. Amazing brand name clients — who have become dear friends — that have successfully incubated and invested in dozens of ventures, a growing pipeline of businesses, and a wonderfully passionate Mach49 team of experienced venture builders who are dedicating their lives to helping our clients achieve the impossible.

But there is more to the story than simply solving the problems of growth and disruption for our clients.

Our world is facing an unprecedented set of challenges. It seems like every aspect of our lives is in question right now. As many know, there were two altruistic reasons we founded Mach49. First, people are living longer and longer due to health care and technology. That means they will be working longer and longer. As much as we celebrate startups, most people are employed by large companies, and they need purposeful, meaningful work for their ever-longer careers. Launching new ventures is one way to allow people inside organizations to be entrepreneurial, creative, to feel alive, to grow, and, yes, to have fun.

The second reason we founded Mach49 is because the big, hairy challenges we face on this planet: hunger, disease, water, poverty, climate change, education, bigotry/racism, and other challenges, need our big companies to be leaning in, willing and able to disrupt them. Big companies have the power to address every one of these challenges. New ventures launched with the backing of large companies can be bold. They can place many small bets to test solutions. They can move with speed and agility, and, when managed correctly, they are unbounded by the status quo.

We firmly believe that global businesses — not startups (too distracted at such an early stage), governments (too dysfunctional) or NGOs (wonderful but can’t solve problems at global scale like the Global 1000 can), are best positioned to tackle those challenges – with the right tools and perspective. Mach49 is one of the only companies in the world built specifically to help them meet these challenges, and we have been blessed to work with some of the biggest client names on the planet on issues of aging, obesity, worker safety, upskilling, sustainability, wind, water, even the convivialité that makes life worth living — and more. These Global 1000 companies are not dinosaurs. Far from it, they are reimagining and reinventing themselves to be as Tim Dyson, CEO of Next 15 likes to say, “the best versions of themselves they can possibly be.”

No company can be all things to all people anymore.

To embrace the challenges we face, we need to work together to build ecosystems of like-valued (though not necessarily like-minded) intellects, subject matter experts, academics, activists, artists, scientists, technologists, futurists, historians, humanists, and more to channel our collective spirit and the gifts we have been blessed with to drive meaningful, sustainable growth for all.

Next 15 will accelerate the scale up of our own capabilities so we can deliver our services to more customers in more places.

Against this backdrop, we start a new chapter for Mach49. Teaming up with Next 15 will let us deliver an expanded set of services that address every stage of a client’s growth and transformation journey, from incubating and investing in ventures to launching, accelerating, and scaling them globally.

But other than that, you shouldn’t expect to see much difference as Next 15 leaves their portfolio companies intact as stand-alone entities running their businesses as they see fit — delivering value that yields extraordinary outcomes. In Next 15, we found the ideal partner, one who believes in our mission as much as we do but also one whose leadership and sister portfolio companies share our values.

We are truly blessed and grateful to all of you who have been part of our journey and helped us get to this exciting moment.

To our team members — both those who have been with us since our founding and those who just joined — who work 24/7, side by side with our clients who truly believe in our cause and are personally driven to make a difference. Together, we built our own Mach49 Challenge Statement that is our shared North Star.

Thank you for your never-ending energy, passion, talent, commitment, and care. Mach49 would be nowhere without you. You truly are amazing!

To our families and friends — who have loved us and encouraged us to follow our dreams, to build a new company — for some their first, for others too many to count ☺ — to help solve the world’s problems, to give people meaningful, purposeful work, even though it has meant long hours, time-shifted days, and too often disrupted weekends and vacations. Family is everything and we are eternally grateful for your support. Thank you! We would not be the people we are without you and your love!

To our partners — faculty partners, delivery partners, publishing partners, go to market partners, experts in residence, VCs in residence — now Next 15 — and all of you who have shared your time and your talent helping to build, shape, leverage, mentor, grow Mach49. It takes more than a village to create real value, it takes an ever-expanding universe of talented, authentic, brilliant, current, caring individuals who bring a broad mix of superpowers to the table. Huge thanks to each and every one of you and we can’t wait to continue collaborating long into the future!

Finally, to our clients — who more importantly have become our friends. Starting a company at this stage in our lives is far more fun because you have more perspective on who and what matters most. You have told us that we are not like anyone you have ever worked with before specifically because we strive to build true relationships with each and every one of you. You have put your companies, your people and your future in our hands. You have trusted us and believed in the journey, and for that we are incredibly humbled, tremendously grateful, and even more motivated to help you and your companies grow, to fulfill your dreams, and bring exciting new opportunities to the world. We are excited and energized by your vision, conviction, passion, courage, and brilliance. For those of you who have been with us, you know that you are forever part of the Mach49 family, as Linda always says (or as many of you know often gets backward) “We are like the Hotel California, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” in a good way as we are always here for you. For those of you who are not yet privy to that inside joke, all will be revealed when you work with us ☺. To our clients — our friends — thank you so very much, you are truly a gift!

Onward we go!

With deep gratitude, love, and respect,‍

Linda, Russ, Brad, David, Clement