Top 5 Celebrity Investors
Celebrities and successful investments are not perhaps perceived synonymously, however there is a new trend, including some of HollywoodΓÇÖs elite, investing their millions into a range of successful enterprises. WeΓÇÖve delved into some of these triumphs to give you a snapshot of these wannabe venture capitalists, whose business acumen is perhaps often hidden behind the lavish lifestyles represented in the media.
Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z
Already incredibly wealthy from the back of his music career, Jay-Z managed to sky rocket his personnel wealth through the foundation of his own record label, Roc-a-fella Records, in addition to a fragrance range and investment into the NBAΓÇÖs New York Jets. Furthermore, back in 2007, his clothing line Rocawear sold for a reported ┬ú125 million. Whilst marrying Beyonc├⌐, someone who could have made this list in her own right, might not be seen as an ΓÇÿinvestmentΓÇÖ, it certainly hasnΓÇÖt harmed his bank balance with the couple’s combined estimated wealth nearing the ┬ú1 billion mark.
Recently cast as the lead on US hit sitcom Two and a Half Men and generally not known for portraying particularly intellectual characters, AshtonΓÇÖs investment portfolio suggests otherwise. His successes, either personally or through his investment firm A Grade Investments, are often associated with web and tech start-up companies. However his stand-out investment into Skype, which at the time some thought was overvalued at nearly $3 billion, now seems genius after its $8 billion sale to Microsoft.
Sean Combs aka P Diddy
The second Rap and Hip-Hop star to feature on the list, Diddy has transformed himself from recording artist into industry mogul. His record label Bad Boy Records, in combination with an award winning clothing and fragrance line ΓÇÿSean JohnΓÇÖ have added to his millions, with Forbes moving him to the top of 2011ΓÇÖs wealthiest hip-hop artists.
JustinΓÇÖs impressive investment portfolio consists of clothing brands, a golf course, a recording company and more recently web based ventures. In the 2010 film The Social Network, Justin plays the role of social media investor and entrepreneur Sean Parker, with this character perhaps inspiring him to make a significant contribution into social network Myspace. Whilst Myspace was toppled by facebook as the most popular social media platform, a successful attempt to claw back some of the market share could see JustinΓÇÖs investment handsomely rewarded.
Will co-founded the comedy video website Funny or Die featuring exclusive material as well as clips from established and upcoming comedians. The website works through viewers voting for their preferred clips with their first video having received over 70 million views. Visitor numbers to the website attracted HBO to make a $10 million investment for a 10% share, whilst venture capitalist group Sequoia Capital are also shareholders. Mark Kvamme, a partner at Sequoia advised that the site was already generating ΓÇ£tens of millions of dollars in revenueΓÇ¥.
A special mention also goes to the late Hollywood actor and director Paul Newman whose line of food products, NewmanΓÇÖs Own remains incredibly popular in the US. Totally unrelated to his acting career, Newman founded the business back in 1982 which as now donated over $280m to charities worldwide.
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