Celebrity Investors Who Made a Killing
Kutcher is well known for his starring roles in the television show “Two and a Half Men” and various movies. His recent investing track record is impressive indeed. He invested in the Skype messaging service in 2009, after hearing about the company from venture capitalist Marc Andreesen. The company was ultimately bought out by Microsoft for a total of $8 billion, earning Kutcher a pretty penny in the process.
In addition to his successful Skype investment, Kutcher, through his A Grade Investments firm has done very well in a number of hot tech startups such as photo sharing app Path, social magazine enabler Flipboard, and location-based service FourSquare.
After playing social media legend Sean Parker in The Social Network, Justin Timberlake was part of the deal that saw social sharing site Myspace sold to an online ad company. Whether or not the firm will ever regain its former glory in the online world is unknown, but if it does Timberlake is likely to profit handsomely as a result.
His investing activities didn’t stop with Myspace. He is also known to have made investments in photo startup Stipple and clothing brand William Rast, as well as buying Mirimichi golf course in Memphis. He also founded Tennman Records and invested in an app acquired by Disney called Tapulous.
As a well-known socialite and celebrity, Kardashian’s every move is closely monitored. Thus, when she and three partners started ShoeDazzle, an online site dedicated to shoes and accessories, it did not go unnoticed. The site has turned in impressive growth, reportedly attracting 3 million customers who pay a monthly fee allowing them to view personalized selections of shoes, jewelry, and handbags every month. The company attracted an investment of $40 million from the notable venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz, which also invested in companies such as Facebook, Groupon and Skype.
The famous pop star has invested in several startups lately. She is a major investor in Backplane, a web portal connecting music and sports stars to their fans through a variety of social networks. The company has raised in the vicinity of $1 million from investors including the chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt.
Lady Gaga has been involved in tech deals previously, working with video game company Zynga to release an extension to the company’s FarmVille game called GagaVille which allows players to complete tasks enabling them to unlock song downloads.
While not every celebrity investment is likely to pay off, the fact that more celebrities are making successful investments than ever shows that celebrities and their advisors are becoming as focused on what they do with their money once they make it as with making it in the first place these days.