Celebrity angel investors are nothing new. Justin Timberlake famously invested $35 million to turn Myspace into a social network for musicians (like it wasn’t already), and Ashton Kutcher’s A- Grade Investments has put $65.5 million dollars into startups like YPlan and Fab.com. I f you’ve been trying to raise money recently you may have tried to suck from the teet that is MC Hammer- believe it or not he still has money.
Having celebrity angels is great, not only to do you get to take a picture with them, but they add well needed publicity for businesses struggling to acquire users. However, there aren’t just those celebrities who’ve been in Hollywood long enough to marry a cougar, lose all their money and make it back, or in music long enough to break Members Only jackets twice. There are a handful of smart young celebrities who are looking to leverage their current fame into long term wealth.
Justin Bieber – Options Media Group Holdings & Spotify
Not all that glitters is chrome when your Justin Bieber? Apparently Bieber bought 121 million shares of Florida based startup Options Media Group for a 16% stake in the company back in 2011. It would have been a smart move if the company was growing (it lost $10 million the year prior to Bieber’s investment), or if the CEO hadn’t been arrested under charges of racketeering. The S.E.C loved the deal so much they called it “The Bieber Agreement.”
Apparently Bieber’s financial adivsors managed to turn things around in 2012 by investing 250,000 in the music streaming service Spotify. Though Spotify didn’t really appreciate it, they took his money anyway.
Selena Gomez – Postcard on the run
The 21 year old former Disney Star is a fan of postcards. So much so that she invested $750,000 in an app called Post Cards on the Run that converts smartphone pictures into traditional postcards. Cute. The app isn’t an entirely novel idea, Postagram and Apple both offer similar services. The difference with Post Cards on the Run is that it isn’t built off of Instagrams back. So far the company has raised an additional $1.83 million in addition to Gomez’s $750k for a total of $2.58 million.
Zoey Deschanel – Hello Giggles
Zoey Deschanel is may be a bit older than Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber but she’s young at heart so we couldn’t help but include her. Her site Hello Giggles is a testament to that as it seeks to combine her quirky personality with her love of entertainment. Founded in 2011 the site is for “cool girls who like to laugh.” In the time since they’ve become social media rockstars with their Youtube series and channel bringing in over 95,000 subscribers and over 240,000 followers on Facebook.
Lady Gaga – Backplane
It’s easy to hate on Lady Gaga’s over the top style, and super poppy pop songs but she is a creative force to reckoned with. She started small starting bands and toughing it out as a songwriter until LA Reid allegedly discovered her singing talent one day in Def Jam’s offices. She’s put her fame and wealth to good use in the time since, supporting a variety of progressive causes and investing in tech startups. She’s a 20% stakeholder in Backplane which was co-founded by her manager Troy Carter. Carter also runs LA based venture capital firm AF Square which has backed Warby Parker, Spotify, Popchips, Uber and Dropbox among many others.