Key Stats: Megalopolis on StartEngine
Number of Investors
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Megalopolis has been selected as a “Deal to Watch” by KingsCrowd. This distinction is reserved for deals selected into the top 10%-20% of our due diligence funnel. If you have questions regarding our deal diligence and selection methodology, please reach out to email@example.com.
Toy collectors lack a one-stop-shop for all their favorite brands. The drive to collect toys is not only based in nostalgia, but also in accomplishment, especially when distribution is so scattered. Given the various brands of toys out there like Bandai, Star Wars, Transformers, and many more, collectors must switch between various sites and platforms in order to find their toy.
The rise of events like Comic-Con and the growing popularity of superhero-driven blockbusters has brought the entire space to prominence. Comic-Con started with a measly 300 individuals in the 1970s, and now attracts more than 135,000 unique visitors to date. Comic-Con and other “cons” that have come after it serve as an “everything store” for fans to find new and old prized comics and toys. The offline nature of finding collectibles creates challenges for the hobbyist collector.
In a growing $2B market that grew at 25% from 2016 to 2017 and similarly in 2018, a single platform that caters to dedicated collectors could stand to benefit from a group of adult collectors who account for a quarter of sales in the space.
Megalopolis is the center of collectibles fandom. Collectors can easily be overwhelmed in this highly diversified industry with over 50+ brands and various online and offline retailers who may or may not have a specific toy in stock. With Megalopolis, collectors looking for that specific Star Wars toy no longer has to switch between eBay and the Star Wars merchandise site.
Collectors can now find the toys and brands they love all on one platform. Along with having one platform to find all their toys, collectors can also have news related to their interests sent to them directly to stay engaged with their fandoms. The toy collectibles market is a highly fragmented market, dominated by Gamestop and other small retailers that are not catered to this demographic.
Megalopolis is helping incredibly loyal and dedicated toy collectors by aggregating and selling the various toys on one platform. Megalopolis and other potential players can disrupt traditional retail outfits by offering a more complete and convenient solution to their customers.
Megalopolis sells various collectible toys from a myriad of brands on their website megalopolis.toys. The company’s business model is straightforward: they sell branded collectible toys on their site on which their average gross margin is 35-40%. Megalopolis also sells co-branded exclusives that has gross margins in the range of 40-45%.
We like that there’s potential for the startup to manufacture their own line of toys with higher margins and also potentially strengthen their already strong loyalty. Additionally, the company has a loyalty program which they use to incentivize customers and increase pre-order sales leading to reduced risk and steady prices. It should also be noted that Megalopolis customers are very sticky and continue to come back to make repeat purchases. In fact 75% of yearly revenues come from repeat customers that are purchasing 2-3 times per year on the website.
Megalopolis is offering a straightforward capital raise. The company is raising between $10,000 and $1.07M in common equity at a valuation of $4,961,250. Investors who invested within the first 48 hours received 10% bonus shares and those within the first week receive 5% bonus shares. To date, the company has received capital commitments of $9,229.
Matt Westover is the Founder and CEO of Megalopolis. Matt handles most administrative, operational, and strategic roles at Megalopolis. It seems he has no prior experience in founding or operating an ecommerce startup. His CTO, Chris Trutanich, handles development of the startup’s website and mobile app. He has prior experience at Toast Labs where he was a developer and UX Designer, and at Manhattan Mobile as a Product Designer.
As Megalopolis continues to grow, the team will need to hire more individuals with experience and relationships with the major brands that manufacture the various toys in the space in order to help the company build partnerships and a stronger footprint in the industry. There are no prior advisors or investors in the space who can help in this respect or even in manufacturing efficiencies.
Why We Like it
- Traction: Megalopis has grown their 2018 revenue of nearly $749,000 to more than double that figure year-to-date ‘aka’ ~$1.4M in 2019. In 2017, the company had revenues of only $887 and growing over 800%. Although unsustainable and obviously easy to grow from $887, it’s promising to see a company receive so much growth and validation from its customers.
- Growth: Megalopolis focuses on the collectible toys space which saw growth of 25% from 2017 to 2018. The market is over $2 billion globally and will continue to see growth. There are numerous revenue streams available to Megalopolis, for example, they can manufacture their own line of toys, move into producing their own media and entertainment, and even moving into other collectible items and antiques. The startup even explicitly mentions adding more exclusive toys, video content, and other products and services in the future. Much like Amazon and Netflix first started repurposing others’ products in consumer packaged goods and media, respectively, Megalopolis aims to find what’s most popular and will shift to producing their own brand of collectible toys.
- Customer Stickiness: Megalopolis’ customer base is incredibly devoted to the hobby of collecting toys and it’s evidenced in Megalopolis’ revenue. 75% of their lifetime revenues have come from repeat customers and they have over 27,000 loyalty program members. We believe once you’ve captured a customer in this space, it’s easy to hold them and have them engage with you again and even sell them on new products and services like media.
The Rating: Deal To Watch
Megalopolis operates in a fragmented market with many independent retailers and various brands. If Megalopolis is able to corner this niche market, they stand to profit from their very loyal, highly engaged customers. Future product offerings and services with engaged audience can lead to an incredibly lucrative revenue stream.
With that said, however, Megalopolis operates in a market that is relatively small, standing at a mere $2 billion. The collectible toys market is forecasted to grow 25% over the next year, but even if it does continue growing at over 20% for the next five years, the market size will only be at ~$6 billion. When looking at potential revenue streams in media and entertainment, Megalopolis becomes a very interesting potential investment. The superhero category of movies accounted for nearly $3.3B in domestic box office revenues in 2018. If Megalopolis can begin producing original branded content, the startup gains access to a large revenue stream.
Additionally, it could be challenging for the company to capture 10%+ of revenues in the next five years. The space is incredibly fragmented with many independent retailers serving as the go-to source for collectibles along with retailers like Gamestop and online businesses like eBay, roguetoys.com, and thetoystimeforgot.com competing with Megalopolis. That is unless the virality of the marketplace amongst fans really takes off, which is altogether possible in this category.
Additionally, exit opportunities in the space seem quite limited. In terms of major retailers or upstarts in the toy industry, there have not been many acquisitions with the bulk of the acquisitions in this space being related to acquiring toy manufacturers. Funko is a large popular brand that is at the forefront of manufacturing licensed action figures. Even then, however, their latest acquisition of Forrest-Cruzan was earlier this year and they’ve only made four total acquisitions. Amazon, however, could be an interesting acquisition play here. If Megalopolis can dominate the niche market of ecommerce collectible toys sales, then Amazon could come into play as an acquirer. The acquisition would be similar to Amazon’s acquisition of diapers.com and could help Amazon capture a niche part of the toys market.
We do like, however, that the startup has created an incredibly devoted following. It seems there’s a credible techstack standing behind the platform as well. If the company continues growing at a fast pace and is able to build out their additional revenue streams, we may be witnessing the rise of a popular toy and media brand.
We believe Megalopolis is an attractive business, but another one that won’t yield extraordinary returns. The $5M valuation is also a good deal given their current traction. Megalopolis will probably never see a unicorn valuation, but it doesn’t need to in order to be a good investment. The most likely exit opportunity for such a niche company is an acquisition by a private equity firm or by a retailer in order to capitalize on Megalopolis’ loyal customers.
About: Francis vu
An investment professional with a background in private equity and venture capital having spent time conducting investments at VU Venture Partners and Pacific Oak LLC with a finance and management degree from Tulane University.