Granicus Group

Direct Investments

WatchMojo

Seeded WatchMojo with the original (and only) $250,000 investment in 2006, the company then went on to achieve profitability in 2012 and is today one of the most successful digital media and web video consumer brands in the world.

Arcadia

Arcadia is a sports platform that combines esports with real athletics. Inside the world's largest extended reality arena, athletes use their bodies as controllers in competitive video games for live interactive audiences. A game changer for both the sports and gaming industries.

Esports + Traditional Sports = Arcadia

Ascoli Football Club

Ascoli Calcio is an Italian football club based in the city of Ascoli Piceno. It is the most famous club in the Marche, boasting a large number of seasons in the top flight and many trophies. Founded in 1898, Ascoli is the fourth oldest club in Italy.

Axle.ai

Axle ai helps creative teams remotely manage and search their media files. Our software connects with the storage you already own, using your existing folder setup. It doesn’t force you to check in files to special locations, or upload them to the cloud. It’s a browser based system to automatically tag your media so you can find it quickly, from any web browser, smartphone, or tablet on site or remotely.

Bree

With satisfaction rates towards traditional financial institutions at all time lows, we wanted to build a better and friendlier financial partner for Canadians. We're starting with what matters you most - getting cash that you've earned in your hands earlier, so you can cover those unexpected bill payments or life events.

Get overdraft protection of up to $100 today when you sign up for Bree. Say goodbye to interest payments and overdraft fees and build towards your financial freedom.

Bond Sports

Bond Sports is the leading technology platform for the recreational sports industry. Sports complexes, colleges and universities, K-12 public and private schools and park and recreation agencies use Bond's integrated software and payments platform to manage, market, and grow their businesses

Bingie

Bingie is a social platform that captures the recommendations and conversations about what Your friends, family, and the Film and TV loving community are watching across all streaming platforms. A fun and simple app that answers the questions; What should I watch? Where do I find it and Why Should I watch it?

Buffer Festival

Buffer Festival is the world's largest international digital-first film festival.

CatapultX

CatapultX puts power back in the hands of media companies by driving revenue to the percentage of video views that are currently unmonetized by social platforms through AI driven ad experiences.

Earbuds Music

EarBuds is the social music platform that enables users to simultaneously listen to the same streams as their friends, favorite musicians and other celebrities in real-time, wherever they are, whatever they're doing. Music is better together.

First Base

Incorporate in the United States, no matter where you’re from. No confusing paperwork and no hidden fees. Focus on your Business, First Base will handle the rest.

HootSuite

Hootsuite is a social media dashboard platform that helps users manage multiple profiles, networks and campaigns (etc.) all on one platform. Users are also able to do the simple stuff like curate cool content and schedule posts all the way up to managing team members and measuring ROI. Hootsuite is here to help you unlock the power of human connection and make great things happen.

Klarna

Klarna is more than just a modern payment method. We enhance the complete shopping journey and experience by allowing shoppers to pay in 4. From pre-purchase inspiration to post-purchase management, shopping with Klarna is always smooth.

Larry

We at LARRY build hardware and software products that help people living alone live healthier and safer lives. LARRY is an app-controlled series of smart sensors that works with at-home data. It is automatically self-activated when your loved one is alone at home, and they don’t need to wear a device such as an emergency button. There are no cameras or microphones to install either, making LARRY the perfect solution for those who value their privacy.

Livescale

Founded in 2016 and nominated as one of LVMH’s top Innovators for 2020, Livescale is a Live Shopping Solution that empowers brands to engage and convert customers through a fully-customized and brand-owned experience.

Mosea

Mosea is a group payments platform designed to help university students split bills, settle debts with friends, and collect funds and donations for parties, fundraisers, etc. With an interface like Instagram and functionality of Split wise & Venmo combined, Mosea is built to solve every inconvenience surrounding paying & collecting from groups, and to ultimately make the process quick, simple, and fun.

Outfts

A marketplace devoted to engagement. Defining social commerce for retailers, brands and influential creators across Europe.

oxio

oxio is building the first global, digital ISP

Phaze

The secure payments disbursement SDK that enables enterprises to issue digital gift cards, cash cards, and prepaid mobile top-ups. Phaze connects modern financial enterprises with innovative solutions for payments and transactions at the world's largest 
retailers online and in-store - across the globe.

Plaid

Plaid makes it easy for people to securely connect their financial accounts to the fintech services of their choosing. Our developer friendly platform supports over 11000 financial institutions so that the 5000 digital financial services built on plaid are accessible to all users.

Reitium

Real Estate Investing in the palm of your hand for as little as $100. Simple, Effortless, Democratized. “The REITIUM Platform will allow everyone to stop spending money on the wrong things and start investing in the right things…Real Estate.”

Saturn Media

The Saturn Awards were created in 1973 and presented annually by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films to reflect the best film and television in those genres.

Scopely

Scopely is a leading interactive entertainment and mobile games company. We create and publish a diverse portfolio of immersive experiences, based on original and beloved franchises, for casual and core gamers around the world.

StoryBolt

StoryBolt platform connects organizations to authentic stories and storytellers (currently: documentary filmmakers) to create an inclusive workplace culture. Through a network of 4100+ filmmakers from 112 countries, StoryBolt enables immersive and interactive learning via impactful DEI conversations around award-winning documentaries. The live documentary screening and Q&As with storytellers about real stories inspire sustainable, inclusive culture by unpacking biases around the gender gap, racial injustice, mental health, and many others.

Thrillz

Thrillz is where fans reach the stars in a few clicks via custom videos, live events and experiences. We create life changing moments and allow fans to personally connect with their favorite celebrities.

Till Financial

Till’s banking app enables parents to shift the money they’re spending on their kids’ behalf to kids to spend directly themselves with their own virtual debit card. Parents can move money to kids with purpose through tasks and agreements that reward smart decisions and can engage extended family (or close friends that feel like family) to support kids as they work towards big goals.

Udacity

Discover the fastest, most effective way to gain job-ready expertise for the careers of the future. Udacity provides access to a wide variety of services and support in order to help you get results.

Walo

WALO is a fintech company focused on empowering parents to teach their kids about money using allowances, behavioral guidance and gamification. WALO is on a mission to empower families with financial education to ensure the financial well-being of future generations.

Their first product, WALO Plug™ connects to any Canadian bank account and allows parents to automate allowances while seamlessly teaching their kids financial literacy, and preparing them to make smart choices with their money.

We4C

We4C is an AI company that analyses thousands of social media messages every minute to measure the Wisdom of The Crowd. In conjunction with advanced quantitative techniques, this wisdom is used to trade highly liquid assets. A key differentiator is our ability to process data as fast as the network can deliver it, with minimal operating expenses

Wise Therapeutics

More accessible mental health interventions can improve the lives of millions each year and lower the risk of acute issues or events. This is what motivates us. Wise is on a mission to transform how we access, engage, and deliver mental health treatment through novel therapeutic approaches that lower barriers to care.

Wise’s first wellness product, Personal Zen, is the first mobile game clinically validated to reduce anxiety and improve stress resilience.

YPC Technologies

YPC Technologies builds compact, collaborative robotic kitchens that combine computer vision, artificial intelligence, and fresh ingredients to prepare restaurant-quality meals.

Funds (select list, in alphabetical order)

Brooklyn Bridge Ventures

Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, the first VC fund founded in Brooklyn, NY, is the most accessible early stage partner for startups in NYC. We foster an online and offline community open to founders and innovative professionals of all backgrounds.

Bungalow Capital Fund

Bungalow Capital Management is a pre-seed venture fund focusing on identifying software that enables new paths to income for individuals.

Holt Accelerator

Backed by the 5th Generation Family Office Holdun, Holt Accelerator leverages Canada’s most senior and best fintech players to ensure entrepreneurs success.

776

Seven Seven Six is a stage agnostic (though early-stage focused), thesis agnostic firm focused on people, culture, and community. Founded by Alexis Ohanian in September 2020, he is joined by investing partner Katelin Holloway and Lissie Garvin, Chief of Staff.

SkyBridge Capital

SkyBridge is a global multi-asset class alternative investments firm, specializing in hedge fund solutions and opportunistic investment vehicles. SkyBridge manages commingled fund of funds, separately managed accounts, digital assets offerings, an Opportunity Zone REIT and a series of SPVs investing in late-stage private technology companies.

Super Angel Fund

SuperAngel.Fund is an early stage angel fund investing in Consumer, PropTech & Future of Work companies. The fund is led by Ben Zises who was the first investor and founding advisor to quip, Caraway & Arber (before each had its name), and who also had early investor roles in A Kids Book About, Branch, Brightland, Cadence, Cleancult, Co-op, Density, Envoy, Haus, Judy, Lalo, Settle, Stix, Swag.com and Windmill, among others

Zú Capital

Zú Capital strives to capture the essence of Guy Laliberté's core as the quintessential "storyteller/entrepreneur" who blended a passion for arts, showmanship, business acumen, execution into Cirque du Soleil. At the intersection of technology & media, Zú recruits the best entrepreneurs and support them in their course to success.

About Granicus Group

Granicus Group is a holding company managing Ashkan Karbasfrooshan’s interests and investments in media, finance and real estate.

Entrepreneurship: the point of no return

A graduate from John Molson’s School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal (class of 1999), Ash lectured Undergraduate, Masters and PhD finance students at both Concordia and McGill University while completing his studies. Drawn to the Internet revolution, Ash bypassed a career in finance to pursue the world of startups, first working in the search engine industry at Mamma, one of the first meta-search engines. He then moved to AskMen, where as vice-president, shareholder and columnist got his first taste of deal-making and storytelling. After a five year run, AskMen was acquired first by IGN in 2005 who itself was acquired by News Corp months later.

He then caught the entrepreneurial bug and founded WatchMojo in 2006. Recognizing that YouTube would disrupt media and overtake television, WatchMojo bet big on YouTube, refining an editorial strategy focused on the timeless and universal appeal of top 10 lists while foreseeing that “geek culture would overtake pop culture,” as kids who grew up reading comic books would start working on Wall Street, Madison Ave, Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Today WatchMojo is a pop culture phenomenon reaching 150 million viewers each month, having grown into one of the most successful consumer media brands in the 21st century. Ernst & Young recognized WatchMojo’s accomplishments by awarding Ash the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Media & Entertainment in 2016.

The Art of Storytelling

Ash is a prolific columnist, having published over a thousand articles on management, relationships, business, sports, entertainment and much more. He is also the author of three books: Course To Success: Everything You Need To Succeed Beyond School; The Confessions of Alexander The Great: 33 Lessons in Greatness; and The Ten Year Overnight Success: An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto - How WatchMojo Built the Most Successful Brand on YouTube. Granicus is a river where Alexander the Great’s first crossed into Asia Minor - representing the pursuit of one’s goals and the point of no return. And, by virtue of being married into Greek culture, as an Iranian-born Canadian, Granicus represents a symbol of collaboration, partnership, compromise, diplomacy, and understanding.

A consummate storyteller at heart, he has spent two decades sharing his extensive firsthand knowledge of the media industry, and insights into the entrepreneurial journey, as a columnist at TechCrunch and MediaPost, a speaker at Natpe, Vidcon, Digital Hollywood, Streaming Media, and OMMA, in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, St-Petersburg, Miami, Abu Dhabi, Mexico City, and more recently through his Fox in the Henhouse documentary.

He has interviewed hundreds of prominent newsmakers and celebrities, including Joe Montana, Hugh Hefner, Depeche Mode, Tiesto, Tony Hawk, Nas, Robert Shapiro, Joe Satriani, Wyclef Jean, LL Cool J, Yoko Ono, Lyor Cohen, Gene Simmons, Seal, Russell Simmons, Joe Cocker, Tears for Fears, Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard.

Ash & WatchMojo are represented by ICM Partners.

Here to Serve: Supporting & Giving Back

After founding Granicus Publishing in the early 2000s, in 2020, Ash set up Granicus Group to support and advise entrepreneurs and storytellers. For investments, grants, donations and any other inquiries, please use the contact form below.