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Celebrity Investments in Tech Startups: What it Means for the Industry

3 min read

There are different types of celebrities in the world. Some believe in spending extravagantly while others look for opportunities to invest and diversify. It helps them create new revenue streams. In recent years, one of the industries that have seen increased attention from celebrities is technology. Particularly, celebrity investments in tech startups. Why wouldn’t it be? It is a lucrative field in all aspects.

Today, there are many celebrities that have become investors and many investors that are borderline celebrities. One thing is clear, that the division between Hollywood and Silicon Valley has become increasingly blurred. Though in the past it has been common for famous entertainers, musicians, or actors to grow their wealth through real estate, or restaurants, celebrities today are turning toward tech investments.

There are now even businesses that specialize in connecting celebrity investors with startup opportunities. Maybe it’s only natural, celebrities have distinct personalities and presences, are innovative, and possess high quantities of investable capital.

What the Stats Show

According to a report, since 2007, the top 70 investors by a number of deals have participated in over 340 funding rounds totaling around $4.7 billion. In 2016, celebrities invested around $2 billion across 102 deals for private technology companies. Also, the report highlights that of the top 22 most active celebrity investors, around half were from the music industry while the rest had gained their fame from TV, movies, sports, or fashion.

Which Celebrities are at the Forefront?

There is no doubt that the tech world is red hot, and celebrities are not immune to its appeal. Similar to designer clothing, being involved in tech has become a status symbol.  Many celebrities have jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon as well. While Ashton Kutcher and Nas were early investors in this space, recently celebrity advocates such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jamie Foxx, and Paris Hilton have also joined in on the action.

Paris Hilton announced that she would be participating in LydianCoin’s ICO, which promotes itself as the ‘first AI big data marketing cloud for blockchain’. Boxing icon Floyd Mayweather has also bragged on Instagram about plans to make a ‘hit t-n of money’ on the Stox initial coin offering, an investment prediction project.

Figures like Mayweather use their Instagram accounts to promote cryptocurrencies with pictures of literal money piles and luxury cars. This cryptocurrency promotion strategy has become increasingly common among ‘influencers’, as the hashtag #bitcoin now appears in more than 562,103 Instagram posts.

The Person Who got the Ball Rolling: Ashton Kutcher

Perhaps one of the most notorious celebrity investors is Ashton Kutcher. Though he’s known for playing goofy characters on TV, in reality, he has a background in biomedical engineering. He, billionaire Ron Burkle, and music manager Guy Oseary launched A-Grade Investments in 2010. The three put $2.5 million into Airbnb, which is now worth $90 million.

They also placed $500,000 in Uber, which is now worth over $60 million. Over six years, they’ve turned $30 million into $250 million, a multiplier of 8.5. Their success has prompted notable investors to pour money into their fund, including Andreessen Horowitz, Mark Cuban, Marc Benioff, and Liberty Media.

Conclusion

Celebrity investments in these tech startups have really uplifted the tech industry altogether. And, with the advent of time technology has turned the table for everything; from digital currency to AI systems, everything has evolved to something better than before. And, according to many tech industry experts, the association of many celebrities has created a buzz in the market and due to their huge fan following, a lot of the fans have started taking notes on how to invest in such projects.

Also Read: How Technology Is Being Used To Personalize Experiences

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Written by nabiak

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