InfoShot: Celeb tech investors
Finance

InfoShot: Celeb tech investors

We’re used to technology investors becoming celebrities unto themselves: The likes of Peter Theil, Mark Cuban, Marc Andreessen, generate their own headlines as often as their invested companies do. But what about celebrities becoming VC investors themselves?

Through her Parkwood Entertainment company, music queen Beyoncé recently invested in merchandising app Sidestep. The former Destiny Child star has previously put money into WTRMLN WTR, company that sells, er, watermelon water. But she’s far from the only superstar to jump into the murky waters of tech and venture capitalism.

Film & TV:

Iron Man star Robert Downey Jnr. has his own VC company, Downey Ventures, which invests in video and games startups. Leo DiCaprio has pumped money into video and photo sharing site Mobli.

When he’s not acting or singing, Jared Leto has taken stakes in Meerkate, Reddit, and Zenefits. He once claimed his best ever investment was in the now Alphabet-owned Nest.

Ashton Kutcher’s investment portfolio is equally impressive, and includes the likes of Spotify, Airbnb, Foursquare, Fab, Uber, Dwolla and Path.

Stephen Fry, previous host of quiz show QI and Blackadder regular, spent over $1 million investing in Quora-like Q&A startup tickle and Summly, the news app founded by teenager Nick D'Aloisio and bought by Yahoo!

Sport:

Basketball stars Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony have their own investment companies and have piled cash into the likes of Alibaba, Lyft, and IDG Ventures-backed Datanyze.

NFL legend Joe Montana regularly invests in a wide range of companies, from communication startups Weave and Secret to open source repository GitLab and marketing tech.

In the world of football, David Beckham has backed Periscope rival MyEye, Andres Iniesta has a stake in wearable camera startup FirstV1sion, while former Arsenal pair Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry invested in video sharing company Grabyo.

Music:

Hip-hop star Nas has, through his Queensbridge Venture Partners company, invested in the likes of Lyft, Coinbase, DeviantART, Dropbox, Matternet and more. Fellow rapper Snoop Dogg has invizzled in Reddit, fintech and sports social platforms, while his Casa Verde Capital company has invested millions in marijuana startups.

Bono – he of U2 and sunglasses fame – is a managing director at Elevation Partners and boasts a healthy stake in companies such as Facebook and Yelp, as well as having a personal stake in Dropbox.

Justin Timberlake’s best known tech investment is probably MySpace. Bad luck.

Even MC Hammer once invested in a search engine that wanted to overtake Google and Bing.

23-01-17-celeb-tech-investors

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect. Writes about all manner of tech from driverless cars, AI, and Green IT to Cloudy stuff, security, and IoT. Dislikes autoplay ads/videos and garbage written about 'milliennials'.  

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