Billy McFarland was a geek who made a pile of money with Internet startups and then decided to have fun. As a kid, he said he had no friends but his computer was everything. “I had no friends … I had my computer,” he says. But he changed everything with his new black card, the entry key to Magnises.
Magnises is a club for well-to-do millennials with a sense of adventure and money in their pockets. It already has 1,200 hundred members, but it is exclusive; applicants have about a 70% chance of being rejected. It’s a card of black metal that opens doors everywhere but is not a credit card. It’s an entry card not only to the Magnises club, but gets you into flashy restaurants (ACME and Catch), hot clubs (Finale and Goldbar), and room upgrades at five-star hotels.
Trevor Gopnik, a co-founder and VP of Business Development, says,“Take this thing you’re using five times a day, make it more community-based, and then build perks around it that affect your everyday life.”
According to Bloomberg, Billy Macfarland, now all of 22 years old, is rapidly catching up with his social life.
From photographs, you can see that the male/female ratio is kept close, and everybody is well dressed. Magnises has original artwork hanging on the walls, cutting edge interior design, and is cool beyond reason. It hosts art shows, lectures, fancy meals, and trendy cocktail parties.
But as Billy Macfarland says, “It’s not really about some showy card. It’s about the people that have it.” Yeah: it’s a club for young people who make more than 75 grand a year and want to socialize with their peers. These folks are Ivy League and Seven Sisters, hard workers like Billy Macfarland and ready to party. But they’re not living off of their grandparents’ legacies.
“If you lay something as an elitist organization, you’re saying you accept people who are just sitting back and spending their trust funds,” says Gopnik. “And that’s not what we’re going for.”