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The Top 30 Celebrity Investors in Tech

October 25, 2016

4:30 pm

The tech world is filled with unique personalities, budding innovators, and a great deal of money. That's why the tech world is the perfect place for celebrities to get their feet wet when it comes to investment opportunities. Whether it's popular musicians, award winning actors, or championship wielding athletes, they all can diversify their portfolio by becoming a celebrity investors in tech startups. After all, they are flushed with capital and startups are always looking for a few more resources to pursue success and change the world.

So who are the celebrities taking the tech world seriously when it comes to their finances? Some have failed and some have succeeded, but they are all household names that have appeared on your TV at least once in recent years. Take a look at the comprehensive list we've cultivated below to see if one of your favorite famous people are bold enough to try out entrepreneurship – here are some of the top celebrity investors in tech:

  • Lady Gaga As one of the most popular and unique musicians in the world today, you have to know that Lady Gaga is going to put on her investor hat everyone once in a while. She’s backed startups like Zynga and Backplane, a platform that connects music and sports stars with their fans.
  • Ashton Kutcher As one of the more notable tech investors on this list, Kutcher has invested in everything from huge companies like Skype to small startups like Fab. His venture capital funds, A-Grade Investments and Sound Ventures, Kutcher is set up to invest in tech for a long time.
  • Kobe Bryant The 5-time NBA championship winner is living it up in retirement with a bevy of startup investments through his venture capital firm, Stibel Bryant, including restaurant booking platform Reserve and education platform VIPKid.
  • Carmelo Anthony The four-time gold medal winner hasn’t won an NBA title yet. But Carmelo has made a huge impact on his team and the tech world by investing in a wide range of startups, like physical storage service MakeSpace and women’s fashion website PureWow.
  • Steve Nash This retired NBA star was known for his ability to dish out assists better than anyone on the court. Now, he’s assisting startups by investing in them, like mattress company Casper and children’s creativity platform Kiwi Crate.
  • Nas The popular rapper is known for his investing ways, takin dozens of small startups under his wing. His investments include Bitcoin services provider Coinbase, text annotation website Rap Genius (now called Genius), and the online art community DeviantArt.
  • TI This popular rapper has also had his hand in a wide range of investments, including a stake in music streaming service Tidaland a social networking website focusing on the hip-hop culture named StreetCred.
  • Madonna The former sex symbol turned powerful women has been at the helm of one of the most popular beverage fads in recent years: coconut water. Her investment in Vita Coco has been one of the best moves of her career.
  • will.i.am This musician of Black Eyed Peas fame is more than just a great voice. He’s also a big investor in startups that include tech firm Shellanoo Group and stealth startup Honest Dollar.
  • Will Smith The Fresh Prince of Bel Air has been is more than just one of the most consistent movie stars in the world. He’s also an avid backer of a number of startups, including mental health startup BioBeats and men’s clothing company Vastrm.
  • Justin Bieber While the popularity of this singer is undeniable, his haters are well-versed in their hatred of J-Biebs. However, the companies that he’s invested in, like music streaming service Spotify and selfie app Shots, are always singing his praises.
  • Curt Schilling Not to be repetitive, but celebrities and investing don’t always mix. Schilling, who is famous for pitching the Red Sox to their first championship in more than 80 years, sunk a lot of money into a gaming startup, 38 Studios, that was eventually unsuccessful.
  • MC Hammer Again, success is not always a staple of celebrity investors. While he is one of the most prevalent cautionary tales for saving your money, Hammer has been successful with investments in contact-sharing app Bump Technologies, mobile payment company Square, and magazine app Flipboard.
  • Snoop Dogg As one of the most recognizable rap artists in the world, Snoop has sung about everything from partying to smoking weed. That’s probably why he’s invested a lot of money into cannabis startups FunkSac and Eaze.
  • Robert Downey Jr. Ironman is more than just a superhero. He’s also a huge investor in the tech world. He’s backed a number of popular companies including subscription box service Loot Crate and Masterclass.
  • 50 Cent This hip-hop artist is famous for his motto “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” which is why he’s been an investor in a bevy of lucrative startups, including enhanced water brand Glaceau and even founded consumer electronics company SMS Audio.
  • Ryan Seacrest Being the host of American Idol isn’t easy. Fortunately, neither is being a startup investor. That’s why Seacrest has taken up the mantel and invested in mindfulness app Headspace and social sharing platform Stamped.
  • Jay Z As one of the most prolific hip-hop artists in the history of the industry, Jay Z has his hand in a wide range of startups, including private jet startup JetSmarter, while he owns music streaming startup Tidal.
  • Leonardo Dicaprio After finally winning his first Oscar, Leo is excited to delve into the startup investment world. He led a $4 million investment round in Mobli, a Tel Aviv-based photo sharing app maker, and also invested in sleep startup Casper as well as mobile phone company Solarin.
  • Tyra Banks This Victoria Secret Model and host of America’s Next Top Model is invested in more than just her contestants. She’s also invested in startups like The Muse, which helps guide people on their career path, and video greetings card company VideoGram.
  • Justin Timberlake This musician, actor, and hilarious SNL guest appearance is more than a triple threat. He’s also invested in a lot of startups, including social media platform Myspace and San Francisco startup Stipple.
  • Linkin Park Every member of this popular rock band has been heavily invested in the tech world. They’ve invested in everything from stock market app Robinhood to shipping startup Shyp through their VC fund, Machine Shop Ventures.
  • Jared Leto The Joker had been fairly low profile on the investment game for years. But recently, the Golden-Globe winner decided that investing was the way to go. He’s invested in 40 startups around the world, including Blue Bottle Coffee, HR software company Zenefits, and video streaming app Meerkat.
  • Joe Montana The greatest quarterback of all time has taken his 4 Super Bowl rings into the tech world by investing in a wide range of startups, including home intercom system Nucleus, video analytics startup Mux, and deep learning platform SkyMind.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger He’s not just the Terminator (or the Governator) anymore. As an original investor in the Planet Hollywood chain restaurants, Schwarzenegger is more than familiar with investments, taking a primarily real-estate approach to the practice.
  • Nelly Not everyone on this list has been successful. Nelly and former NFL star Marshall Faulk started an investment firm back in 2012 that was sued by several banks for potentially fraudulent investment claims.
  • Ellen DeGeneres No, she’s not just great at dancing; this talk show host and hilarious comedian has been heavily invested in Stamped, an app that lets users to track all of their favorite things–like books, movies and music.
  • Kim Kardashian As one of the stars of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kim didn’t need to make investing part of her image. But still, Kardashian and three partners founded ShoeDazzle, an online shoe and accessories website. The site now counts a reported 3 million customers.
  • Bono The U2 leading man is more than just a charity figure in the world. He cofounded Elevation Partners in 2004, a venture firm that focuses on media, entertainment and technology companies and manages $1.9 billion in assets.
  • Magic Johnson While Magic has been retired from basketball for years, the prolific star has been busy investing in companies since he left. He invested in venture capital firm Detroit Venture Partners, which has invested in more than a dozen early-stage tech companies.

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Conor is the Senior Writer for Tech.co. For the last four years, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His extensive background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host tech-centric events like Startup Night at SXSW and the Timmy Awards for Tech in Motion. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.