Hollywood Celebrities With Successful Tech Ventures
The tech industry has grown from a niche market to one of the biggest players in the business field. Because it can host a lot of services, entertainment is one of the sectors that get the most traffic. It is not too surprising that it would be seasoned entertainers in Hollywood who would know where to hit to get their ventures to work since they know this area very well. Here are some stars that had been successful with their tech investments.
You might have witnessed Ashton Kutcher grow from a young man in “That 70s Show” to the serious and reliable actor that he is now. However, you might not be aware that you have a lot more to thank him for. Kutcher has large investments in Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, Shazam and Soundcloud. In 2010, Kutcher dished out a lot of money and founded his own venture capital firm that focuses on technology start-ups, where he works with Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary.
In 2011, The New York Times reported that his investments were worth around $50,000 to $200,000. Kutcher might be hard to take seriously when he appears in movies, but his investments in the tech industry are far from being a joke.
You might recognize the man in his large sunglasses, his voice, and his chart-topping timeless hits. While the U2 frontman, no doubt, one of the most successful rock stars of his generation, he is actually also successful in business. Bono is a cofounder of Elevation Partners, a private equity firm that has investments in media and technology.
The firm is named after U2’s popular hit “Elevation.” Elevation Partners has already invested $1.76 billion with a 12% net internal rate of return. Some of these investments are in popular companies such as Yelp, Facebook, Forbes and a lot more.
As if being one of Hollywood’s hottest stars is not enough, Justin Timberlake has also struck gold with his technology ventures. In “The Social Network,” Timberlake played Sean Parker, founder of Napster, which was a popular music downloading platform that eventually shut down. What most people might not know is that he has a knack for tech start-ups in real life.
Timberlake has investments in Miso Media, an application development company as well as Stipple, a photo labeling tool. In 2011, Timberlake bought MySpace, which was a popular social media platform back then and transformed it into a venue for budding musicians to thrive.
In 2007, Will Ferrell founded FunnyOrDie, which is another website devoted to hosting videos. But, unlike a lot of its bigger brothers, it is all about comedy. This website lets its visitors vote on how funny the videos are for them, and a lot of these are created by the pros such as Judd Apatow, James Franco and Even Ferrell himself. Of course, viewers can join in the fun and upload their own videos.
This venture was so successful, that its first video received over 60 million views. The company then received funding from Sequoia and HBO later on purchased a 10% stake and let the company write episodes for them.
In 2008, the Black Eyed Peas singer founded DipDive, a social networking site focused on music and art. This platform features a variety of channels that range from large concert performances to street exhibitions. Users can also upload their own content while scouts can browse and see who they can probably sign.
This site hit gold when “Yes, We Can,” which was Will.I.Am’s Obama campaign music video was debuted there. The website was also merged with the Black Eyed Peas’ official website and sponsored their Data Awards, which was done to honor standout members of their online community.
With their impeccable talent for entertainment, it is not too surprising how these stars ventured from the TV screen to your computers and phone screens. A big part of the entertainment industry is so intertwined with technology and, fortunately, these veterans have stepped up. Do you know of any other online business founded by a celebrity? Did this list inspire you in any way? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.
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