Archer-Malmo Division Adds To Portfolio

By Andy Meek

The new division that ad firm archer-malmo launched last year to invest money and creative capital into digital startups is continuing to expand its portfolio of companies.

That division is a-m ventures, and the newest addition to its portfolio is Paytopia, a startup that’s seeking to add more safety and data security to e-commerce transactions.

A-m ventures works to help digital businesses achieve success faster by leveraging the marketing and digital expertise of archer-malmo. Paytopia and a-m ventures started working together a month or so ago, and before that, Paytopia was one of six companies in the second cohort of Seed Hatchery.

Seed Hatchery is a local business “boot camp” that works to take an entrepreneur and his idea from concept to the real world over the course of 90 days.

Paytopia was founded by CEO Mike Hoffmeyer, who has spent more than a decade in the online payment space as a technologist with two payment companies.

“We’re working with Mike to develop his brand – primarily on the visual side, as the name is pretty great – and are currently working on a website redesign, in addition to the strategic thinking we offer all of our portfolio companies,” said a-m ventures director Patrick Woods.

A 30-second promo for Paytopia has been put together by a-m ventures. Paytopia also has raised seed funding and is currently “circling-up its Series A funding,” according to a-m ventures.

A few months ago, meanwhile, a-m ventures announced it’s investing in another company from the same Seed Hatchery cohort Paytopia participated in. In May, a-m ventures said it’s infusing an investment of creative capital into Haversack, a new private sale website for hunting and fishing gear and apparel.

Haversack offers products at discounted rates that could be up to 70 percent off retail prices. Woods said one reason for the partnership was Haversack founder Josh Bell’s deep understanding of the market.

In addition to being the founder, Bell is an avid outdoorsman and thus a member of Haversack’s target audience.

“We don’t usually speak about the cash value of the services we provide, i.e. the creative capital, but focus on the value we’re providing for the entrepreneur,” Woods said. “For Haversack, services include brand development, Web and email design, social and email strategy, and general planning.

“These are crucial services every startup needs but very few can afford, especially at the earliest stage. We don’t mind co-risking with founders to build exciting businesses and grow the Memphis startup economy.”

A-m ventures was founded by four of archer-malmo’s principals, including CEO Russ Williams.

Founded in 1952, archer-malmo is the largest marketing communications agency in Tennessee and one of the largest in the Southeast.