The biggest benefit of celebrity tech investors is that they bring their clout, contacts, and capital to your table. The portfolio is diverse when it comes to celebrity investment in businesses. They are not even shy off investing in startups and no wonder startups are delivering results despite many flaws. The idea of investment by celebs in different businesses goes back to decades but off-course portfolio has changed a lot.
Top 10 Celebrity Tech Investors
Celebrity tech investors include people from the film fraternity, wrestlers, sports person, athletes and who’s who investing big chunks in new portfolios with some innovative ideas. In fact, your innovative idea could make you celebrity someday. Let’s check out how things are changing in Silicon Valley with an infusion of this new fund from celebrity investors.
Leonardo Dicaprio: Leonardo’s tech investment journey started in 2011 with Mobli, a photo-sharing app maker from Tel Aviv with an infusion of $4 million. In fact, this investment in the company has attracted many more celebrities like Tobey Maguire, Serena Williams, and Lance Armstrong. For some time now Leonardo is also working as an advisor to company for branding and marketing matters. Mobli is trying to establish itself as a popular photo and video sharing network along the lines of Instagram. Meanwhile, Leonardo has also invested hugely in many other business firms that continue till 2017.
Jessica Alba: Actress cum entrepreneur has accelerated tech investment by celebrities to next level with its own billion-dollar venture. The Honest Company was founded in 2011 by Jessica Alba and three other partners. Further, Jessica’s interest in consumer goods products has incorporated with other fruitful investments in Headspace, Managed by Q and Honor. She is yet finding more interesting portfolios to invest in as a prominent celebrity investor.
Ashton Kutcher: The paradigm shift investment by next celebrity tech investor Ashton Kutcher, was undisclosed amount into Skype just two years prior to whopping $8.6 billion deal with Microsoft. It has positively increased the interest and knowledge of Kutcher into tech investments. Kutcher has diversified portfolio of investments with more than 70 investments in different business ideas in last decade or so. It includes investment in some big names like Warby Parker, Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, Flipboard etc. Kutcher along with his partners Guy Oseary and Ron Burkle are doing wonders through their VC firm A-Grade Investments.
Madonna: Madonna’s tech investment in Tidal has proved worthy with Tidal seeing light of day with more than 3 million subscribers for this subscription-based music streaming service. Further, Madonna has also co-founded DanceOn to support & promote dance content creator’s work. DanceOn as a digital network startup has received more than 250 million views in very short span of time. There are many more business ideas in the investment list of Madonna we could see in coming years.
Ellen DeGeneres: Actor cum Comedian tried her luck with tech startup by ex-Google employees called Stamped. The idea behind Stamped was to help users access all information related to their favorite things that may include restaurants to books and music. Later, the startup was bought by Yahoo for $10 million. Ellen’s next venture was with Warner Bros. to set up Ellen Digital Ventures. It has rolled out two amazing games named Psych and Heads Up along with EllenTube and Ellen’s Dance-off, a video destination, with idea to provide quality content to family audience.
Robert Downey, Jr.: Robert Downey, Jr. has tried to mold tech investments by celebrities to startup way. He has held a partnership to found Downey Ventures to make angel investments in start-ups. Further, it is determined to do investments in incubate consumer entertainment tech companies. Iron Man has shown great interest in investing in digital media startups expecting better growth and returns. He has also invested in nerdy memorabilia market where he invested in Los-Angeles based subscription service “Loot Crate”. As a celebrity tech investor, he was an early investor in Maker Studios which was later acquired by Walt Disney.
Justin Bieber: Teen heartthrob, a singer is turn out to be a serious businessman with his extended investment portfolio. Unlike other tech investments by celebrities, he has started investing in tech at his early age. His first investment known to be in 2009 which is still hidden from the public despite that he has backed at least dozen more companies since then. Some of these companies include music streaming service Spotify, rating app Stamped, selfie-sharing app Shots and instant messaging app Tinychat.
Tyra Banks: Reality TV star, talk-show host and former supermodel Tyra Banks has shown some sensible investments in various tech firms including start-ups. She has invested in women-centric businesses and start-ups through Fierce Capital Investment an arm of her Tyra Banks Company. Some of her notable investments include investment in video portal Videogram, millennial career site The Muse, social shopping site The Hunt (later acquired by Pinterest) and Android-specific app Locket which was later acquired by mobile shopping app Wish.
Magic Johnson: Former NBA star and celebrity tech investor Magic Johnson has invested heavily in different portfolios including movie theaters, fitness clubs, burger king franchise and much more. Later, he divested his lot of fund from many of these companies and invested some undisclosed amount in VC firm Detroit Venture Partners. Through this VC firm he invested in many startups including AR & VR marketing platform Marxent, bot detector Are You Human and online curriculum platform GingkoTree. He further invested few million dollars in diversity hiring platform Jowell as seed funding.
Jared Leto: Actor and musician Jared Leto have shown some prominent investment decisions in various business firms. One of his best bids was an investment in IoT company Nest Labs which was later acquired by Google for huge $3.2 billion in 2014. He also launched three of his companies named The Hive, Adventures in Wonderland and online platform VyRT. In other investments, he invested in food-lovers video network Nom, digital health platform Headspace, video collaborator Frame.io, Reddit, Zenefits, Radius, Surf Air, and others.
Celebrity tech investors have moved on with the traditional businesses portfolios and looking for more innovative ideas to invest in. They are looking opportunities in tech firms and startups where they are pumping huge sums. There are many celebrities who are relying on their business sense and earning well apart from their dedicated job profiles. Tech investments by celebrities are more interesting chapter today as these funds are building big companies with huge profit shares for the celebrity investors.
Excerpt From Tech Commuters