Below you will find a list of celebrities and the startups they are associated with. Keep in mind that there are 2 types of celebrity startups. There are companies that are actually started by entrepreneurial celebrities (usually with non-celebrity business partners) and there are companies where the celebrity is only an investor and/or helps promote the business by endorsing it in exchange for partial ownership of the company.
Facebook - Bono - The lead singer of U2, through his Elevation Partners venture capital company, invested around $210 million into Facebook in 2009 and 2010. Now that Facebook is a public company, that stake is estimated to be worth around $1.275 billion.
The Honest Company - Jessica Alba - Sells natural and eco-friendly baby products. The actress had the idea for creating a line of non-toxic and safe cleaning products and baby supplies for parents when she was pregnant with her daughter, Honor. She was frustrated by her attempts to create a clean, safe environment for her baby so she decided to create her own suite of products parents could trust. She funded it with her own money, and spent 3 years developing products and creating the brand. It now has around 300 employees is soon expected to have an IPO valued at $1 billion.
Myspace.com - Justin Timberlake - Founded in 2003 as a social network with a focus on music, it was sold for $580 million to News Corporation in 2005. 6 months prior to that, Myspace was in talks with Mark Zuckerberg to acquire Facebook, but thought the $75 million asking price was too high. In 2006 Myspace became the most visited site in the USA and was the largest social network in the world. Facebook soon took over the market though, and Myspace was headed towards obscurity when in 2009 it was purchased jointly by Justin Timberlake and Specific Media Group for $35 million.
Typo Keyboard - Ryan Seacrest - The American Idol host invested $1 million into building this special $99 iPhone case that has a built-in Blackberry-like QWERTY keyboard. The company was sued by Blackberry for design infringement and was forced to come out with an updated version 2 with a modified design, but the lawsuit has still not been resolved.
Skinny Girl - Bethenny Frankel - The former reality star and talk show host founded this company with a business partner, and as chronicled on The Real Housewives of New York she sold the cocktail portion of the company for what is rumored to have been over $100 million. She is still partners in the non-alcoholic part of the company, which sells shapewear, sparkling beverages, nutritional bars, and other food items.
Funny Or Die - Will Ferrell - The actor/comedian co-founded what is now one of the leading comedy websites. It features skits and other fuinny videos, many of which have gone viral. Guest stars include Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Mila Kunis, Chris Rock, Charlie Sheen, Jim Carrey, Selena Gomez and more. Users vote on which videos should be featured on the site, and the rest deemed not to be funny "die" in the archives.
Shots - Justin Bieber, Floyd Mayweather, Omar Epps - An iOS and Android app and social network for sharing selfie photos. Prior to the company pivoting to its current form, Justin Bieber provided feedback for mobile games they developed and promoted the games through Twitter. He later became a mjor investor.
VitaminWater - 50 Cent - In October 2004, rapper Curtis Jackson (50 Cent), who was already a fan of the product, was given a minority share in the company in exchange for becoming a spokesperson. In 2007 Coca-Cola bought the company for $4.1 billion, resulting in a windfall to 50 Cent estimated to be worth $100$400 million.
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood - Kim Kardashian - In partnership with Glu Games Inc., they built an app where you create your own aspiring celebrity and try to rise to fame and fortune. It is estimated the app will have sales of $200 million in 2014.
Beats Electronics - Dr. Dre - Sells upscale headphones and speakers. Also offers Beats Music, a subscription-based online music streaming servic. Dre co-founded the business with record executive Jimmy Iovine and launched their first product in 2008: Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphone. They sold a majority stake in the company to HTC in August 2011, but later bought much of it back, and then in 2014 sold the company to Apple for $3 billion.
Cīroc vodka - Diddy - In 2007, Diddy become a brand ambassador for the struggling product and since then sales have skyrocketed.
Priceline.com - William Shatner become the brand ambassador of Priceline in 2000. Instead of asking for cash, he received a percentage of the company. It has been reported that he ended up making $600 million from this deal due to the large increase in their stock price over the years.
Cabo Wabo - Sammy Hagar - In 1985 the former Van Halen lead singer convinced his bandmates to open a cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico as a place where they relax and play music. It did not do well financially, so he bought them out. He soon turned things around and expanded into a chain of nightclubs and restaurants. In the late 1990s, he began selling his patrons a house brand of hand-made tequila, which became so popular it was imported into the USA and became the second-best selling premium brand. In 2010 the tequila brand was purchased by Gruppo Campari for $91 million.
NJOY - Bruno Mars - in 2013 the singer announced he made an investment in the electronic cigarettes maker. He was already a customer of this nicotine booster, which doesn't give off any tobacco smoke or odor. He was quoted as saying "I believe in the product and the company's mission."More Celeb Startups:
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