Celebrities know that to make the most out of their investments, they should diversify their portfolios, and it looks like they’re setting their eyes on tech and venture capital. While some celebrities are making investments as angels betting on very early-stage companies, others have formed actual venture funds, which have LPs or limited partners (i.e., pension funds and other large institutional investors as funders).
We put together a list of the most active celebrity investors using CB Insights’ data, and ranked them against one another.
- Ashton Kutcher, who currently holds the title of product engineer at Lenovo, is by far the most active investor through his angel investments as well as his two funds, A-Grade and Sound Ventures. He has financed more than 70 startups since 2009, including AirBnB, Foursquare, and SeatGeek.
- Rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones has invested in more than 30 tech companies through his New York-based fund QueensBridge Venture Partners.
- Rounding out the top three is Troy Carter — manager for Lady Gaga as well as one of the newest sharks on Shark Tank — who has invested in more 20 startups himself as an angel.
Below are the most celebrity-studded startups. They attracted multiple celebrities to single funding rounds:
- Splice – Tiesto, Scooter Braun, Steve Angello (Series A)
- Casper – Adam Levine, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Queensbrige Venture Partners, A-Grade, Consigliere Capital, Scooter Braun (SeriesA/B)
- BioBeats – Scooter Braun, Will Smith, Damon Wayans (Seed)
- Wash.io – Scooter Braun, Troy Carter, A Grade, Queensbridge Venture Partners (Seed)
- Mobli – Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Lance Armstrong, Serena Williams (Angel)
- Julep Beauty – Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Jay-Z, Troy Carter (Series B)
- Robinhood – Snoop Dogg, Jared Leto, Queensbridge Venture Partners (Series A)
- Shots – Justin Bieber, Floyd Mayweather, Omar Epps (Seed)
- Stamped – Ellen Degeneres, Justin Bieber, Seacrest Global Group (Seed)
Additionally, other notable celebrity movements in tech include:
- Jay-Z acquired Aspiro for $56M in order to launch Tidal, a music streaming service.
- Jessica Alba co-founded Honest Company, which has raised more than $220M at a valuation above $1B
- Justin Timberlake and Specific Media Group jointly purchased Myspace for $35M from News Corporation
- Kim Kardashian has a mobile game that was generating $200M in revenue and also founded ShoeDazzle
*Data does not include grants
Photo credit to Simon Shek
Want more data on celebrity/angel investors? Check out our venture capital database below.
This report was created with data from CB Insights’ emerging technology insights platform, which offers clarity into emerging tech and new business strategies through tools like:
- Earnings Transcripts Search Engine & Analytics to get an information edge on competitors’ and incumbents’ strategies
- Patent Analytics to see where innovation is happening next
- Company Mosaic Scores to evaluate startup health, based on our National Science Foundation-backed algorithm
- Business Relationships to quickly see a company’s competitors, partners, and more
- Market Sizing Tools to visualize market growth and spot the next big opportunity