ATL Media Tech Entrepreneurs Launch Interlock Studios To Grow New Mobile Apps

Following the acquisition of their startup Offbeat Media Group in December, media entrepreneurs Shep Ogden and Bailey Grady are ready for their next business challenge. And previous investors, including Mark Cuban and Atlanta Ventures, are backing them once again.

Ogden and Grady just launched Interlock Studios, a company that buys and builds mobile apps. The goal is to find established apps built by small teams that have found a strong user base and revenue trajectory, but have a developer looking for quick, uncomplicated cash exits.

The origins of Interlock dates back to the founders’ college days at the University of Georgia. As a freshman, Grady launched several mobile gaming apps that reached the top 100 on the Apple App Store. After graduating in 2018, Ogden and Grady started working together to promote different mobile apps.

Bailey Grady - From LinkedIn
Interlock Studio’s Bailey Grady

“This endeavor ultimately evolved into the early days of Offbeat. We drove millions of installs by partnering with apps as their go-to-market partners across dozens of countries, many of which still stand in the top 100 of the App Store,” Ogden added.

The team said the name symbolizes how integrated technological innovation is into daily human life today.

“In an era where apps go beyond entertainment to become essential tools that enrich, simplify, and enhance daily life, our mission is to build and acquire apps that manifest this synergy—apps that positively transform lives,” Ogden added.

The team added they are particularly drawn to apps that focus on improving people’s health, productivity, relationships, or family life.

“Technology has recently exacerbated issues like decreased focus, increased loneliness, community disconnect, and an “always-on” mentality. Now, we see technology as a solution to these problems,” Ogden added. “These are the types of apps we want to acquire.”

What’s Up In The App World

The two co-founders have seen the app world transform drastically over the years. Specifically, they saw time and time again that many app founders were “excited about the early phases of building apps (A to B) and lacked the interest or know-how in elevating an app to market leadership (B to Z).”

The team believes that Interlock can help such app founders find a better exit strategy.

The team also wants to work on making more apps more profitable earlier on in their lifecycle. Sitting in 2024, The Interlock team believes the “era of deferring monetization” is over.

“The landscape is no longer enthusiastic about supporting apps without a clear path to profitability or a billion-dollar outcome, and the reality is, most apps won’t become billion-dollar companies. Therefore, we believe in monetizing apps early on as the quickest way to validate you’re solving a core human need.”

Interlock Studio's Shep Ogden
Interlock Studio’s Shep Ogden

Getting Investor Buy In For Interlock Studios

Ogden and Grady know that Interlock’s business model isn’t what traditional VCs might want to see. But they had a strong thesis that won over investors.

“Our pitch deviated from what you’d typically present to a VC. Many VC-backed startups operate on a boom-or-bust mentality, aiming to dominate a market as a unicorn,” Ogden explained. “While ambitious, Interlock is designed neither for a boom nor a bust, nor to burn through significant capital before achieving success. We’re focused on creating a profitable, cash-flowing app portfolio for the long term, starting this year.”

Previous investors of Offbeat Media took notice first. Jon Birdsong, Partner at Atlanta Ventures, said the firm is backing the Interlock team because they recognized Ogden and Bailey’s work ethic, resilience, and “uncanny ability to find a way to win” over the years of scaling Offbeat.

“Recurring revenue and efficient use of capital wrapped around rapid iterations of market feedback is what will win the next generation of mobile applications. Interlock Studios is all of that and much more with Shep and Bailey leading the charge,” Birdsong told Hypepotamus.

Ogden and Grady know the ups and downs of scaling a venture-backed company. But they say they are taking those lessons into the launch of Interlock.

“We recognized the importance of sustainable growth and focus, understanding that rapid expansion without direction can hinder success. Our most challenging days at Offbeat often stemmed from overinvestment in areas without sustainable growth or becoming too dependent on platforms we couldn’t control,” added Ogden. “These experiences, both good and bad, are invaluable. At Interlock, while we of course will take risks, we commit to expanding only in areas of predictable and sustainable growth, ensuring our risk is more calculated.”