Celebrities also invest in tech companies

Integral service around a transaction
BY : Diego GutiérrezMay Mon, 2013

venture capital, business angelsFrom Ashton Kutcher to Justin Bieber, a number of celebrities have put their money - and sometimes their personal brands - into tech investments like Fab, Flipboard and Mobli. And it's not just celebrities who invest, but also their agents and managers - people like Lady Gaga's manager, Troy Carter.

The celebrity investor trend is relatively nascent, but has caught the attention of Hollywood talent and sports agency Creative Artists Agency, which is said to be developing a new 20M venture capital fund $, as well as former Mashable editor Ben Parr, who is working on the Hollywood connected # DominateFund.

Of course, not everyone is so bullish on the star-startup connection. Interestingly, however, GRP Partners has partnered with Rachel Zoe on two deals - NuORDER and dailyLook.

So after Brooklyn-based media company Mass Appeal raised funds from hip-hop artists Nas and Pusha T, wanted to delve deeper into the trend and see which celebrities (or their investment vehicles) have backed the most tech startups, as well as the ones who have been the most successful. Venture capital who have most frequently co-invested with celebrities.

Actors, the most active guild

First, celebrities as we have defined them include actors, singers, rappers, etc. themselves, as well as those in their inner circle. As will be seen below, actors represent the largest number of celebrity investors with at least 11 actors owning stakes in private tech companies. Music artists followed closely behind with at least 10 singers and 8 rappers involved in tech funding since 2007.

"In Spain, one sector that could have the capacity to finance companies with potential is that of footballers. Until now, they have been looking for low-risk assets, especially real estate. The reason for this is their short professional life, which leads them to assume little risk," says Diego Gutierrez (ABRA INVEST) specialist in corporate finance for SMEs.

Internet and mobile, the most important sectors

Most celebrity high-tech investments over the past five years have gone to internet companies, but celebrities have also backed at least 28 mobile startups. Leonardo DiCaprio, for example, participated in a round in the photo-sharing app Mobli while seed investors in BlackJET, a fractional jet sharing company with a mobile app, included Ashton Kutcher, Jay-Z's Roc Nation and Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment.

Celebrities opt for A-grade investments

The following list shows the most active celebrities investing in technology since 2007. The top 10 is led by A-Grade Investments, the investment vehicle headed by Kutcher, Guy Oseary and Ron Burkle and is followed by Troy Carter and Justin Timberlake, who round out the top 3. Eight of the top 10 celebrity tech investors concentrate on seed/angel and Series A level early stage investments. Frequent celebrity co-investors include SV Angel, Menlo Ventures and CrunchFund.

"It would be interesting to know what the investment process was like for these celebrities when they chose to participate: what was their motivation, were they economic decisions, or were they motivated by their tastes or hobbies? It would make sense for celebrities to collaborate with expert investment managers and co-invest with them," says Diego Gutierrez.

The M&A Professionals

Meet our services



Do you want to be up to date?


Our diferentiation

Market Research Technology
Our team of market analysis specialists is continuously analyzing the investments of the most active markets in the industry in order to unceasingly contribute ideas of the current market situation and identify the most relevant trends for senior management. We integrate the most relevant sources of information which allows us to discover the most interesting companies for venture capital and similarly helps us to identify the investors with the highest probability of involvement in an M&A process to ensure the success of our sell-side operations.

The reports and deductions of our advisors provide a broad view of the sector, both geographically and from the complementary or adjacent markets perspective.
Technology Data Analytics
for M&A
Advanced data anlytics is a weapon". Intelfin is an artificial intelligence tool we use for investing and creating value in SMEs through competitive analytics and the enterprise environment.

IntelFin consists of a cognitive system, which, through the application of advanced analytical technologies, facilitates the automation of investment and financing decisions in the field of non-listed companies and especially SMEs in high-growth sectors.

The information related to these companies is characterized by their lack of transparency and heterogeneity; thus, it is necessary to develop an advanced analysis which is as much predictive as prescriptive and is developed in a natural language custom, suitable to obtain greater clarity and knowledge of the investment scope.

The IntelFin system focuses especially on analyzing the variables that define and influence the competitive environment of a sector and the positioning of a company, analyzing their influence on future value creation. Therefore, IntelFin supports strategic decision-making to senior management by resolving questions such as:

¿What are my competitors' priorities, strategies and expansion plans? Who's my competition? Which competitor is most likely to grow at a higher rate?
Which areas of activity/business models will receive the most investment? Which sectors are most attractive to investors?
Which companies are going to experience the most growth in the near future? Which companies are most likely to receive investment or be acquired?
Training Methodology
We have developed training programs in an innovative set-up which guarantees our teams the acquisition of technical competences both in the field of corporate finance and in the field of psychology, that is much needed when it comes to negotiation processes.

We have a culture of continuous improvement of our processes, closely related to the use of information systems that allow the enhancement of internal communication between our teams, as well as external communication with our customers. Hence, we extend best practices identified internally in an efficient and rapid manner among our members.

Are you one of those who prefer to be well informed when making decisions?