The “You Can’t Touch This” singer/rapper with his own unique and inimitable brand of dancing and the equally inimitable (and very dull) real name of Stanley Kirk Burrell, has been a presence in Silicon Valley for nearly two decades, ever since he coached Pandora founder Tim Westergren for meetings with music executives. He co-founded DanceJam in 2007, before then selling it for a huge profit two years later, and he has jumped onto a load of investment opportunities by investing in a myriad of tech companies, like contact-sharing app Bump Technologies and mobile payment company Square.
He’s young, cute, hot, rich, a good singer, great dancer, very successful, and all the girls and the paparazzi love him, as proven by the many many column inches allotted to his exploits and the thousands of photos featuring him doing, well, nothing of any real interest. Maybe due to his ubiquitous nature on newspapers and social media, and the resulting loss of privacy, he is somewhat secretive about his investments, but we do know that he first invested in a start-up in 2009, and has since grabbed a stake in instant messaging app Tinychat, ratings app Stamped, and selfie-sharing app Shots; considering he’s the poster boy of the new generation, it’s no surprise that his investment portfolio is firmly made up from investments in the social media landscape.
One of the biggest sporting icons and stars of any era, as well a real live AIDS-awareness poster child, this man is a legend and rich beyond most people’s imaginations due to various endorsements and sponsorship deals he had during his highly successful hoops career. However, as a true go-getter, he wanted more and set about seeking out investment opportunities and making a name for himself in the world of business, opening up a chain of movie theaters, several Burger King and Starbucks Franchises, and a chain of fitness clubs, in the process covering all the bases – meet for a coffee, watch a film, eat fast food, then go burn it off in the gym. He then invested in a venture capital firm, Detroit Venture Partners, who have gone on to invest in more than a dozen early-stage tech companies.
He started off as a sweetheart heartthrob movie star before several incredible performances (think Django or Blood Diamond) established him as a serious actor heavyweight who earned critical success as well as having popular appeal, which meant big big bucks commanded for every film. In 2011 he decided to start up an investment portfolio and invest some of his wonga in Mobli, a Tel Aviv photo sharing app maker out to challenge Instagram. He not only invested in it himself, but he also came on board to help with the marketing and branding, as well as to use his star status and connections to bring in more celebrity investors, like Toby Maguire, Lance Armstrong and Serena Williams.
A brilliant singer, astonishing dancer and really good actor, the former teeny bopper star is also starting to catch the investment bug; he recently invested in a company start-up called Stipple, which allows people to label, share and advertise on pictures, Dekko, a stealth start-up which, strangely enough, is like Stipple in that information is added to pictures by bringing up an instant Wikipedia for anything you capture on camera, and he has also taken an ownership stake in the dying social network MySpace. A fledgling investment portfolio quietly flourishing.
The ever-green Peter Pan of basketball has had a hugely successful and acclaimed playing career, and now he’s about to have an equally long and successful career as a celebrity investor; he has become a partner at the NYC VC firm called Consigniere, whose investment portfolio includes make-up company Birch Box, website rating company STELLAService, and jewelry start-up Chloe&Isabel.
Of course, no list of celebrities would be complete without one of the Kardashian clan, and this time it’s the most famous of the lot; ‘Big Booty’ Kim. She cofounded Shoedazzle, a somewhat bizarre start-up involving, what else, jewelry and shoes, where, for the princely sum of $39.99 you can receive a box of shoes, jewelry or a bag, keep it for a month and then return it, or return it immediately and get your money back. Seems crazy but they have over 3 million users, although not all of them pay of course.
The downright dirty, nasty and baddass rapper from Huston is branching out from his mic business to become a serious entrepreneur and potential celebrity investor; although he hasn’t parted with any money yet he is attending tech conferences like they’re going out of fashion, standing up and speaking at many of them about his relationship with new technologies in building relationships with his fans, in the process seeking out investment opportunities and becoming friends and maybe future partners with investor millionaire Mark Suster.
One of the most famous women in the world, the Queen of Talk Shows and seemingly every American celebrity’s big sister/confidante invested in Weight Watchers when she took a 10% stake in the company – this led to a staggering one day paper-gain of $70 million, which shows the power of the celebrity investor; however, the company is now struggling.
The three celebrity actor giants invested heavily in Planet Hollywood, an unashamed attempt to cash in on celebrity investor appeal, but the chain, which at one time had over 100 restaurants, has gone through several bankruptcies and is now down to a mere 6 outlets.