Gone are the days when celebrities minded their own entertaining businesses-times are changing, celebrity stars are now investing millions into web and mobile startups. A few of them have started finding unique ways to spice things up in Hollywood. Technology influencers are still trying to understand why celebrities have taken a sudden interest in startups and investing millions in some web and mobile apps.
celebrities with highest reputation in the Valley includes Ashton Kutcher ( plays the role of Steve Jobs in the upcoming film jOBS ) and Troy Carter( Lady Gaga’s manager) are making huge investments in early stage startups. But the big question still remains-can celebrity investment in your startup guarantee success?
Here are 20 startups with Celebrity funding and endorsement.
Honest,com, a store that allows people to have safe baby products delivered to their doorstep each month. Honest company was co-founded by Jessica Alba. Brian Lee, the guy who helped Kim Kardashian get ShoeDazzle.com off the ground, is a co-founder.
Mobli is a social mobile photo and video-sharing website. Mobli’s mobile app allows mobile sharing of photos and video recorded on mobile devices to its website where other users can view the content. Users can browse the websites content feeds in real time by location, subject, or uploader. Mobli promises to let you see the world through other people’s eyes. Leonardo DiCaprio has invested $4 million and the tennis player Serena Williams has also invested an undisclosed amount in Mobli.
Chromatic lets you transform the way you practice, perform, and learn music. You can connect your Chromatik account to access your sheet music catalog, annotate charts, record practice sessions, and share your music. Chromatik has secured $1 miilion from Bruno Mars.
Hipmunk is a travel search site that aims to take the agony out of travel planning. Their mission is to help people book travel faster and more efficiently. Hipmunk was designed to help people who are overwhelmed with pages of irrelevant search results. Ashton Kutcher has invested Hipmunk.
Ashton Kutcher, a prolific angel investor who has funded dozens of start-ups and plugs them to his millions of Twitter followers. He has invested in Foursquare, Airbnb, Hailo and Spotify (Justin Bieber has also invested in Spotify)
Postcard on the Run
Postcard on the Run lets you instantly create and mail real photo postcards directly from your iPhone. Just snap, tap and send anywhere in the world! Easily personalize with your own photo, message, and signature. Selena Gomez is the creative director of the company.
ShoeDazzle offers a web-based subscription to shoes, purses, and jewelry. Kim Kardashian co-founded ShoeDazzle. Members pay a set monthly fee in exchange for a pair of shoes that are selected by Hollywood stylists. Shoedazzle has over 13 Million members. The company has also just launched a new signature collection which offers sexy and sophisticated clothing options as well.
Stipple seeks to revolutionize image monetization & social shopping. Stipple offers image analytics, advertising & messaging inside images web-wide and without widgets or embed code. Stipple’s Seed funding amounting to $2 million was secured from people and companies including Justin Timberlake.
Justin has also invested in Miso Media-an interactive music education site. He is also an investor in the new launched Myspace, which is aiming to help musicians stay connected with their fans and showcase their music.
Turntable.fm connects you and your friends in a real time music listening experience. Play music together for free on the web, iPhone, or Android device. Turntable has received funding from Lady Gaga and Kanye West. Last year, the pop goddess and the rapper/producer each invested $7.5 million in the social music service. Lady Gaga has also invested in BackPlane (social networking site for celebrities)
Viddy is a simple way for anyone to capture, beautify, and share amazing videos with the world. Capture key moments of your life, instantly produce it into a beautiful video, and share it with those who matter most. Jay Z, along with Will Smith, invested money in the video-sharing app Viddy.
GlobalGrind.com chronicles celebrities (and blogs), lifestyle content, entertainment news, fashion, music, and politics with an authoritative voice. Before its launch, Russell Simmons dubbed Global Grind the “Huffington Post of Hip-Hop”. Global Grind is now a successful digital multimedia company with a mix of celebrity bloggers.
Meanwhile U2 singer Bono presides over Elevation Partners, a professionally run venture capital fund. Elevation Partners manages around $2 billion in assets and manages investments in companies like Facebook, Dropbox, and Yelp. Back in 2009, Elevation invested $90 million into Facebook for a 1.5% stake.
According to Techcrunch’s Mike Butcher ” What investors and startups want alongside the PR boost is access to networks. If the celebrity is actively moving in interesting and influencial circles, they can act like any other investor and introduce the startup to others who might co-invest with them. Normal business rules still apply“.
Which startups do you know have received celebrity funding the past?