Aside from being the face of a brand or product; many celebrities are now using their money, and industry knowledge, to invest in small businesses and startups. The constant rise of the entrepreneur and developments in technology are providing a wealth of opportunities for investors to strike when the time is right, and celebrities often have the luxury of cash at hand to do so.
Water provides a healthier image to a celebrity than a can of soda might do. Therefore, stars like 50 Cent has backed Vitamin Water, and Beyonce invested in the startup, WTRMLN WTR (so good that it didn’t need vowels), rather than putting their faces to one of the bigger brands like Evian, or Fiji water. And, what would a busy schedule be without coffee (probably slower); some celebs feel the same, and have therefore invested in coffee startup brands. Philz Coffee gained support from Jonah Hill, Snoop Dogg, Nas, and Jamie Kennedy; while Jared Leto and Tony Hawk put their faith in Blue Bottle Coffee, ensuring both brands created a buzz that wasn’t just down to the caffeine.
A totally different type of consumable to drinks is cannabis. Snoop Dogg obviously likes to smoke with his coffee, as he has backed several cannabis startups, including Merry Jane, Eaze, FunkSac, and LeafsBySnoop. Snoop is not the only one investing in the herbal remedy; Whoopi Goldberg founded marijuana company Whoopi & Maya.
It’s not just the individual consumable products that celebs are getting behind either; Thrive Market, an organic and health-led food delivery startup up was backed by Demi Moore, John Legend, and Toby McGuire, giving the brand a Hollywood seal of approval. Jared Leto (back again) sure loves his food deliveries, as he has invested in three startups that provide the service; including Plate Joy, Reserve, and Nom, ensuring he’ll never go hungry when he’s filming on set.
New apps and services that enhance everyday life, and provide faster processes, like Netverify, and Venmo, are in high demand. The public is craving new ways to better themselves and their lifestyle, and if they can find it within an app, all the better. Celebrities are more aware than most about how having instant access to help and services at the touch of their iPhone screen has the potential to improve everyday life, and make money in the meantime. Ryan Seacrest invested in the mindfulness app Headspace, while Will Smith helped the startup BioBeats, which focuses on healthy living and instilling calmness; showing that both celebs are aware of the growing need for better mental health care and ease of access to it.
Booking platforms are also in demand, so basketball star Kobe Bryant has given time and money towards the restaurant booking app Reserve, while record label owner, Scooter Braun, has invested in salon reservation platform VIVE. It seems many celebs are putting their money into services that they feel are missing from their everyday life and ones that could enrich other people’s.
All The Rest
There are often startups and products you’ve heard of but have no idea that a celebrity investment was behind them. Popular new mattress company, Casper, was backed at the start by Leonardo DiCaprio, retired basketball player Steve Nash, and Scooter Braun. Learn more about the incredible rise of mattress brand Casper here.
It goes to show that not every celebrity-backed success story is down to a famous name being involved; it has to be a great idea or product in the first place before the money invested can help.