Lady Gaga, Ashton Kutcher, and Top 5 Celebrity Tech Investors
From Lady Gaga to Ashton Kutcher, meet the top 5 celebrities who are investing their fortunes on Foursquare, Hipmunk, and the hottest tech startups out there.
1. Ashton Kutcher
The star of CBS's Two and a Half Men has become the poster child of celebrity net-preneurs thanks to his early round investments in social magazine Flipboard, location-based app Foursquare, and voice-over Internet protocol service Skype, which then was sold to tech giant Microsoft for $8.5 billion. Two of the more recent and successful tech investments by Kutcher include social networking-enabled photo sharing and messaging app Path, and San Francisco-based online consumer oriented travel company Hipmunk, which lets you sort hotels under the category “vice” and flights under the category “agony.”
2. Lady Gaga
The mega pop star, who last year alone made an astounding $90 million, made her first forays into the tech world by joining Google former CEO Eric Schmidt and helping to raise over $4 million for celebrity-oriented social startup Backplane, which in return powers geeky Gaga’s own social networking site Little Monsters. Gaga, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, who is one of the most influential celebrities in social media, recently became the first Twitter user to reach 20 million followers.
3. Selena Gomez
Teen sensation, Disney diva and Justin Bieber’s girlfriend Selena Gomez has a whopping 9 million Twitter followers and 25 million Facebooks “likes.” She also is a celebrity tech investor by virtue of her contribution to a $750,000 funding round for mobile application Postcards on the Run, which sends real postcards directly from any iPhone to any mailing address.
4. Justin Timberlake
The Mickey Mouse clubber-turned boy band member-turned solo pop star-turned actor is imitating in real life the role he played in the 2010 film The Social Network by investing (and actively participating) in established tech companies like MySpace (yes, it still exists and is very successful overseas by the way), as well as hot startups like photo-sharing service Stipple, where Timberlake helped raise $2 million (along with 10 more participants) and music education software maker Miso Media, for which the singer helped raise $600,000 with other 6 investors.
5. Kim Kardashian
The reality-television star is everywhere, and the world of celebrity tech investors and entrepreneurs could not be an exception. Shoedazzle, a Los Angeles-based online personalized styling and retail service is Kardashian’s tech baby (so to speak). Funded in 2009, the company counts with an estimated 3 million subscribers, and revenues of $25 million in 2010 and $70 million in 2011. Shoedazzle also has received the love of investors, most recently through an infusion of $40 million via venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz.
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