Jackson Aw is on a roll. Two months ago, the founder and CEO of Mighty Jaxx raised US$20 million in an oversubscribed funding round. Aw is planning to use this hefty war chest to expand his vision for the future culture company.
“We are expanding our digital initiatives, specifically adding to our current infrastructure with modules suitable for a burgeoning pop culture market,” says Aw.
“And buy a lot of Martell,” he adds, laughing uproariously.
He’s also expanding Mighty Jaxx’s presence and has plans to open offices in South-east Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. He’s also looking at the USA and UK.
Aw’s ability to stay ahead of the curve is one reason Mighty Jaxx has grown exponentially since he started in 2012 with a $20,000 loan from his parents.
He’s banking on the phygital experience – a blend of the physical and digital worlds. “Our collectors want to have a holistic experience. They don’t just want to purchase an item. So, we launched phygital collectibles that bring them on this journey,” says Aw.
A collector who buys a physical collectible can authenticate his or her purchase digitally via the Mighty Jaxx app. Some of these collectibles also allow the collector access to the Mighty Jaxx Xtended Xperience that prolongs and deepens the journey.
They also produce collectibles that can unlock hyper-casual mobile games, AR experiences and other types of digital content.
In March this year, Mighty Jaxx collaborated with Chinese digital entertainment platform iDreamSky and opened a store-in-store within the latter’s QQ Family flagship store in Shenzhen. The foray deepened the company’s roots in China; it already has multiple official accounts on the country’s platforms, including Douyin and Tmall.
On the first day of opening, the Mighty Jaxx store raked in the largest first day take in the QQ Family flagship store’s history. It is now in 20 stores across China and aims to be in 50 stores in the next 18 months.
Aw is already thinking ahead, though. He plans to develop Mighty Jaxx experience centres in “tier-one cities” and shares that he’s already secured licensing deals for local IPs in China, thanks to a current investor.
For Southeast Asia, Aw is working with the lead investor in its latest funding round, East Ventures, to make inroads into the different markets.
Aw doesn’t want to recreate the same mistakes many other companies make — treating the region as a homogenous entity.
“It cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. The cultures in all these countries are so different. They also have their own localised intellectual properties (IPs) that we can work with. That’s why we need local teams in each city we’re in,” he explains.
Aw understands that people shape culture, which changes across time. A company, especially one like Mighty Jaxx, must continuously adapt to stay relevant.
“There is no company that can ignore this. So instead of being against the flow, go with it. By doing so, you can amplify the efforts of the previous team and blend it into something that is more dynamic, versatile and a better fit for the next generation,” he says, pausing before giving a wink. “Just like Martell.”
Martell and Mighty Jaxx
Aw readily admits that he is an avid whisky drinker and always associated the Martell cognac as an old man’s drink. His perspective changed after going through the Martell pop-up at Scotts Square, currently ongoing from now until 29 May 2022.
“Now I understand that cognac is from grapes and can only come from the Cognac region. The taste is also so velvety smooth and can be something that can be shared with friends in a casual setting. It’s a pleasant spirit,” says Aw.
After trying the range of Martell cognacs, including the new L’Or de Jean Martell, he chose the Chanteloup XXO (second picture in the gallery above) as his favourite, noting the sweet finish at the end.
Admittedly, he kept changing his mind throughout the tasting. “The L’Or has a complex taste and I was drawn to it at the beginning, but the Chanteloup XXO won out in the end thanks to that finish. You always remember the last note that goes into your mouth, and the latter won hands down.”
It’s named after the historic Château de Chanteloup near Cognac, France, and takes cognac lovers on a journey to the heart of the maison. This legacy of savoir-faire, perpetuated through nine generations, is today in the hands of Cellar Master Christophe Valtaud, who blends Martell Chanteloup XXO from up to 450 very old eaux-de-vie, from the four most prestigious cognac crus.
L’Or de Jean Martell
The latest release from Martell, this cognac is a blend of more than 400 eaux-de-vie, most of which are over a century old. Of note is the eaux-de-vie from the Borderies, which is the smallest and most exclusive terroir in the Cognac region. The gorgeous bottle that the cognac resides in came from the hands of master craftsmen at Manufacture de Cristal de Sèvres and is meant to represent a drop of cognac.
The L’Atelier Martell pop-up runs daily from 11am to 10pm from now till 29 May 2022. To purchase the Chanteloup XXO and/or the L’Or de Jean Martell, both of which are not available at the pop-up, drop an email to [email protected].