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Top 10 Celebrity Tech Investors

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake

They’re the most cutting-edge celebs in the business. For this list, we’re taking a look at celebrities who have invested in one or multiple tech companies. We’ve included stars like Robert Downey Jr., Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z and Jessica Alba. Join WatchMojo as we down the top 10 celebrities who invest in tech.

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Script written by Nick Spake

Top 10 Celebrity Tech Investors

They’re the most cutting-edge celebs in the business. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 celebrity tech investors.

For this list, we’re taking a look at celebrities who have invested in one or multiple tech companies.

#10: Robert Downey Jr.

In true “life imitates art” fashion, the actor behind Tony Stark has invested a fraction of his fortune in the tech industry. In 2010, he and his wife founded production house Team Downey, which in 2014 produced its first feature film with “The Judge”. Through subdivision Downey Ventures, the company also helps finance digital media startups, and has so far contributed to the subscription box service Loot Crate, online education platform MasterClass, and multi-channel network Maker Studios, which has since become Disney Digital Network. If engineers ever find a way to make the Iron Man suit a reality, we can only hope that Downey would invest a few bucks.


#9: Justin Timberlake

In 2010’s “The Social Network,” this singer turned actor played Sean Parker, the co-founder of Napster and Facebook’s first president. Timberlake was a fitting choice for the role, as he’s left his own mark on the tech industry. In 2010, Timberlake invested in image tagging company Stipple. A year later, Timberlake joined forces with Specific Media Group to buy Myspace for $35 million - which seems like a lot until you consider the fact that in 2005, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation paid $580 million. Timberlake strove valiantly to breathe new life into the social media website, but Myspace has since been purchased by Time Inc.

#8: Justin Bieber

This musician has a strong social media presence. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s invested in his fair share of tech businesses, including instant messaging platform Tinychat, bookmarking app Stamped, and social gaming company Sojo Studios. Bieber was one of the most prominent investors behind the selfie sharing app Shots, which later evolved into entertainment company Shots Studios. But of all the companies Bieber has purchased a stake in, music streaming service Spotify has perhaps left the greatest imprint on the digital world. Having accumulated a net worth of $83.5 million before even turning 24, this pop star can reportedly afford to invest roughly $250,000 into each startup he “beliebs” in.

#7: Linkin Park

Bieber isn’t the only musician who’s recognized Spotify’s potential. Linkin Park’s lead vocalist Mike Shinoda has put money into the music streaming service and that’s just the tip of his investment iceberg. Along with band member Brad Delson, Shinoda founded Machine Shop, which transitioned from a music company to a venture capitalist firm in 2015. On the lookout for promising startups, the firm has invested in transportation company Lyft, financial app Robinhood, and shipping service Shyp. This might’ve seemed like an unlikely move for the rockers, but as Delson explained via CNNMoney, “As artists there has never been anything that stopped us from jumping into the fray and seeing technology as a form of opportunity.”

#6: Jessica Alba

Entering the public eye as an actress and model, Jessica Alba has largely shifted her focus to the business world, raising her net worth to a reported $340 million. Alba most notably co-founded The Honest Company with several other partners, including Brian Lee of ShoeDazzle.com. Since its inception in 2011, this American consumer company has reached an estimated $1 billion value by selling household and beauty products. Alba’s wise investments don’t end there, as she’s also contributed to the meditation app Headspace and cleaning company Managed by Q. Through her ventures, this entrepreneur has established a family-friendly brand that promotes safety, health, and clean living.

#5: Leonardo DiCaprio

This versatile actor has invested in a diverse assortment of tech businesses, ranging from e-commerce mattress company Casper, to health tracking app Cue, to smartplug startup Zuli. In 2017, DiCaprio became an advisor for the virtual reality company MindMaze, describing the technology as a potential “driving force in media and entertainment.” As an outspoken environmental activist, DiCaprio has also backed Rubicon Global, a cloud-based company that specializes in waste management and recycling. We wonder if DiCaprio would be willing to fund a Portable Automated Somnacin IntraVenous Device like in “Inception?”

#4: Jay-Z

Investing in a business is one thing, but rapper Jay-Z saw so much promise in Norwegian tech company Aspiro that he acquired it for $56 million. This amounted to the creation of Tidal, a music streaming service that’s now reportedly worth $600 million, surpassing its original value by ten times. In addition to Jay-Z, numerous other high-profile artists have signed on as co-owners, including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, and Daft Punk. Outside of the music industry, Jay-Z backed the app JetSmarter, which is basically the Uber equivalent of private flights. Considering how much it costs to buy a private jet, this investment will probably save Jay-Z money in the long run.

#3: Al Gore

Following his loss in the 2000 presidential election, Democratic candidate Al Gore remained an influential figure through his environmentalism work. Aside from starring in the global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Gore has invested in at least fourteen green-tech firms, and from 2001 to 2012 increased his assets from a reported $2 million to an estimated $100 million. Gore also co-founded the London-based investment firm Generation Investment Management, backing numerous medical and eco-friendly companies. He’s even become a partner at Kleiner Perkins, once described as “Silicon Valley’s most famous venture firm.”

#2: Bono

In addition to being a rock star and charity worker, Bono can add venture capitalist to his lengthy résumé. U2’s lead vocalist not only teamed with bandmate the Edge to invest in Dropbox, but also co-founded Elevation Partners. This private equity firm made its first major investment in 2005, bankrolling $300 million to unite video game developers BioWare and Pandemic Studios. The following year, Elevation purchased a stake of more than 40% in Forbes Media for somewhere between $250 million and $300 million. Elevation even coughed up $90 million for 1% of Facebook in 2010. Investing in everything from Yelp, to Palm, to Marketshare, Bono has helped Elevation to amass $1.9 billion in total assets.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

will.i.am

Tony Hawk

Ellen DeGeneres

#1: Ashton Kutcher

Kutcher started his acting career playing dimwitted stoners, but in real life he’s grown into one of the most successful and active celebrity investors. While Kutcher has invested in major brand names like Skype, Foursquare, and Path, he’s also shown interest in lesser known tech companies like Neighborly and ResearchGate. As co-founder of the venture capitalist firm A-Grade Investments, Kutcher helped put startups like Airbnb, Shazam, Soundcloud, Spotify, and Uber on the map. Additionally acting as a product engineer for tech company Lenovo and a Creative Director for telecommunications company Ooma, Kutcher not only invests his money, but his time and intuition as well. Who knew that Michael Kelso was a regular Steve Jobs?
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