An increasing number of music, film and fashion figures are getting in on private equity and venture capital investing. Here is a list of the most active celebrity investors in the United States in 2016, according to CB Insights and Business Insider.
Kutcher is the most active participant of the celebrity VC field, with more than 100 investments since 2007, according to 2016 analysis from CB Insights. The majority of his money has gone into tech companies like Box, Skype and Zenefits. In 2011, the actor and producer established a firm called A-Grade Ventures together with Ron Burkle and Guy Oseary and is currently the co-founder of 5 more companies, according to Crunchbase.
Rapper Nas has backed over 40 startups since 2007. The musician, whose full name is Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, finances the companies through his venture fund Queensbridge Venture as well as individually. The startups backed by Nasir include Philz Coffee ($15M in series B), Robinhood (personal investment of $13M in Series A and $3M in seed through Queensbridge Ventures), and Genius ($40M series B through QueensBridge Ventures and a personal investment of $15M in Series A).
Concluding the top three is Troy Carter, Lady Gaga's manager, entrepreneur and the founder of Atom Factory, who has backed over 30 start-ups since 2007, according to CB Insights. A guest shark on the popular Shark Tank show, Carter's biggest personal investment is $37 Million in Uber (Series B).
Former football player Joe Montana has made 11 investments in ten companies as of October 2016, according to Crunchbase. His biggest investment is $64M in NerdWallet, a personal finance company focused on credit cards and related products. Through his Liquid 2 Ventures fund, the former '49ers quarterback also backed Skymind, a deep learning startup that in September 2016 raised $3M in venture funding, according to CB Insights.
Oscar-winner Jared Leto, who in 2015 was acknowledged by CBS as being one of Hollywood's smartest start-up investors, is currently on the advisory board at DocuSign and was one of the first investors ($13M in series A) in Robinhood, a popular fintech company. According to Crunch Base, Leto had invested in 17 companies as of October 2016. His other investments include Reddit and Nest, with the latter being acquired by Google in 2014.
Other celebrity investors on the list:
6. Carmelo Anthony
7. Kobe Bryant
8. Scooter Braun
9. Steve Nash
10. Rachel Zoe
11. Justin Timberlake
12. Tyra Banks
13. Leonardo DiCaprio.
15. Will Smith
16. Ryan Seacrest
17. Curtis Jackson
19. Justin Bieber
20. Robert Downey Jr.