The Founding Managing Partner of Plexo Capital, Laurence (Lo) Toney, became a familiar face to many Americans after his showings on Halftime Report to offer expert insights into the closure of Silicon Valley Bank. Others also know him for his preference for luxurious car collections ranging from Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Performance Spyde, among others.
His main forte, however, is developing top-notch world-class teams to deliver astounding products for the markets. This passion for creating enabling workspaces stems from his many years of work experience in the corporate world.
Lo Toney’s top-flight career began in the 1990s when he worked with PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a senior consultant in 1996. He later joined NetAbacu as Vice President of Business Development.
His strategy of leveraging teamwork to achieve success played up when he worked with Zynga as General Manager. Within two years of working as the organization’s head, Lo Toney was able to shore up the web bookings of the entity by over 150 percent while increasing its market share. He brought a new approach to how Zynga Poker should run its casinos while increasing sponsorship for its two acquisitions.
He was also instrumental in positioning Nike as a market giant when he took the role of Global Manager for Nike.com. He executed this vision by developing and initiating strategies that made Nike a competitive sportswear for the consumer market. He brought his team along in moving emerging artists into global brands when he also worked with Art.Com.
The venture capital mogul can best be described as a team player identifying ways to grow an organization with its existing teams. He offers inspiration and identifies potentials that most teams never thought they had and later translates them into a winning team.
One classical example of his loud achievements in his years as a top manager with global corporations was evident when he worked at eBay. As the Director and General Manager of eBay’s Collectibles Business, he spearheaded a team that raked in $3 billion in annual transactions, according to Mucker.
Lo Toney’s education was streamlined towards working in the venture capital market someday. He graduated from the University Of California Haas School Of Business with an M.B.A. in Management of Technology. He also received his bachelor of science from Hampton University in Virginia.
In 2017, he decided to set up another venture capital, Plexo Capital, to support minority startups, particularly women and persons of color to achieve their goals. He focused on this segment of working entrepreneurs because less than 2 percent of them are in the venture capital space.
It also inspired him to choose the name Plexo, a Portuguese word that means ‘intricate network’ to represent his idea. The strategy of his business plan aims to cover venture capitals run by minorities or the underrepresented population in their seed stage, and reflects his desire to invest in businesses that would later impact their worlds.
This is not the first time the Plexo founder has incubated an idea to support venture capitals run by minority groups. He currently mentors HBCU.vc, an organization that aims “to build a global innovation economy where Black and historically excluded innovators can boldly create, fail, invest, and thrive.”
In 2019, Lo Toney raised $42.5 million through Plexo Capital to drive his vision to provide seed funds for minority startups; with the hope that they will grow to become global franchises. Plexo Capital considers its model distinct, and seeks to promote diversity within the market ecosystem.