Category Archives: Social Clubs

Billy McFarland, CEO of Spling and Magnises, Appeals to Millenials Desire for an Active Social Life

Billy McFarland, the CEO of Spling and Magnises, is an American entrepreneur originally from the New York City area. McFarland is best known as the founder of Magnises, an innovative social club designed to appeal to professional millennials, with lavish parties and an assortment of perks. The centerpiece of the Magnises concept is the black, metal membership card linked to the user’s banking or credit information, which the member can then use at a variety of New York City establishments, especially hip restaurants and nightclubs.

The Magnises card is being touted as the “Amex for millenials.” The perks the club promotes emphasize the millenial focus on an active social life and the generational trend of delaying marriage and long-term relationship commitments. Billy McFarland himself notes that the concept came to him after a spirited conversation with a group of friends. They realized that while American Express was extremely successful at marketing its credit card as a status symbol, the extra perks that came with an AMEX were simply irrelevant to the twenty-something demographic. Founded in 2013, the club currently boasts more than 50 partnerships, from upscale gyms to private transportation services, which provide special discounts and personalized service to members. The application fee is $250, and admission to the club is selective.

The Magnises headquarters is located at the luxurious Hotel on Rivington on the Lower East Side, a neighborhood synonymous with gentrification and the new generation of Manhattan professionals. The Magnises penthouse also serves as a clubhouse, where members can work or hold private events during the day. At night, the penthouse hosts a number of spectacular events, from parties to networking meetings to lectures.

The club has raised more than $3 million in funding since its launch in 2014 and is already self-sufficient from fees. McFarland says that he seeks out members who have business and social connections that can enrich the overall club experience in the form of new partnerships. The young entrepreneur left Bucknell University as a freshman to found the Internet startup Spling, a social media venture which focuses on making content more targeted and relevant.