Hollywood probably isn’t the first place you’d think to find investors in the latest tech startup. But maybe it should be. We all saw the Facebook-inspired movie, The Social Network, right? Everyone with disposable income is eager to get behind the next billion dollar idea, with hopes it will turn out to be the next Apple or Uber.
Celebrities are no exception.
Over the last 10+ years, several high-profile celebs have invested millions of dollars into ideas — many of which have gone on to become billion-dollar businesses. Successful companies like Spotify, Lyft, and Airbnb are just a few household names backed by the people on this list. Read on to discover 10 celebrities you may be surprised to find out are also successful investors.
10. Ryan Seacrest
Practices like meditation and mindfulness have been increasingly popular in Western culture as of late and believe it or not — YES, there is an app for that. It’s called Headspace and television show host and radio personality, Ryan Seacrest, was one of its backers. The guided meditation app has since been valued by Forbes at about $250 million.
9. Justin Bieber
Yes, you read that right. Pop star Justin Bieber also makes the list of successful celebrity investors. The “Biebs” has backed well-known streaming service Spotify, as well as selfie app Shots, which has since expanded to become entertainment company Shots Studios.
8. Leonardo DiCaprio
Is there anything Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t do? This actor-turned-hotelier has taken is embarking on one of his most exciting ventures yet. In 2005, Leo purchased $1.75 million property, known as Belize’s Blackadore Caye. Today, he has plans to turn the 104-acre isle into an eco-resort.
7. Rachel Zoe
Backed by fashion designer and celebrity stylist, Rachel Zoe, FabFitFun is a popular beauty, fashion, and wellness company. The subscription service offers boxes packed with full-sized beauty products (valued by the company at around $225) for only $49.99.
6. Linkin Park
US-based financial services company Robinhood is another startup that has multiple celebrity investors, including members of American rock band Linkin Park. Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street Movement, this no-fee trading app is now valued at $5.6 billion.
5. Steve Nash
Former Canadian basketball player, Steve Nash is another celebrity investor behind the established mattress and sleep company Casper. He also backed the delivery subscription service for children, Kiwi Crate.
4. Kobe Bryant
3. Troy Carter
Between managing stars like Lady Gaga and serving as founder, chairman and CEO of talent management company Atom Factory, Troy Carter is also one of the most active celebrity investors out there. Carter has backed more than 30 startups since 2007, among them have been popular names like Spotify, Lyft, Uber, and Dropbox.
Surpassing Troy Carter with over 40 startup investments in the last 11 years is rapper Nas, or Nasir Jones. The 45-year-old entertainer has financed notable startups like Robinhood and FitMob. He does this through both personal investments and his venture fund, QueensBridge Venture Partners.
1. Ashton Kutcher
Last, but certainly not least, is American actor, Ashton Kutcher. Although he was convincing as Kelso, the lovable nitwit from his breakthrough role on “That 70’s Show,” Kutcher’s character is a stark contrast from who he is in real life. Consistently mentioned as one of the most active celebrity investors, Kutcher was part of a trio that created venture fund A-Grade Investments in 2011. A-Grade has financed companies which have gone on to achieve enormous success including Uber, Airbnb, Dwolla, and Spotify.
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