Life is imitating art on the TV show “Two and a Half Men,” in which actor Ashton Kutcher plays an Internet billionaire.I know I'm all atingle with anticipation.
In real life, Kutcher is an Internet investor, with plenty of actual startups to his credit, including room rental service Airbnb, social magazine app Flipboard, travel search site Hipmunk and mobile marketplace provider Zaarly, among others.
Kutcher even has a healthy exit under his belt, from being part of the investment group in 2009, which included Andreessen Horowitz, that bought a majority stake in Skype from eBay for $2 billion. Earlier this year, Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion.
And the dude is not the only celeb with a taste for tech startups. As Tom Stein reports in the December issue of Venture Capital Journal that’s out today, Hollywood celebs are channeling their inner Mike Moritz as they take a stab at the venture capital game. Justin Timberlake is part of a group that recently paid $35 million to acquire MySpace; Lady Gaga and her poker face are betting on several music startups, including Backplane, a social platform that connects musicians and athletes with their fans; and the reality TV star Kim Kardashian is co-founder and creative director at fashion site ShoeDazzle, which earlier this year raised $40 million from several VC firms, including Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners.
And everyone wants to know when Justin Bieber is gonna put his dollars to work and invest in a startup or two. Our best guess is when he turns 18....MORE
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Venture Capital Journal Cover Story: The Rise of the Celeb Investors