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Tech to beauty: here’s what female celebrities are investing in

27 May 2021|Investing, Latest Posts

We all tend to think of celebrities as people who make their riches from their craft. Although that may be the case for some, other business savvy stars have an entrepreneurial mindset and have made some smart investments to help them amass even larger fortunes.

The Celebrity Investments Index, created by the investment experts at money.co.uk, analysed the business activities of 30 celebrities to determine which high profile stars are the most prolific investors and across which areas they operate.

Across the ten female celebrity backers in the study, they have invested $2312.5 million into small and large businesses, with Oprah being the most prolific.

Following on from this, the team at money.co.uk have compiled a list of the top female celebrities that are leading the way in lucrative business investments.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey

Net worth: $3.5 Billion

Profession: TV Host

Invested in: Harpo Inc., Oatly

Oprah Winfrey isn’t just a pop-culture phenomenon, she is a savvy businesswoman who has leveraged her popularity to build a media empire and a multi-billion dollar fortune.

Harpo Inc. a multimedia production company based in West Hollywood, California was founded by Oprah. The company is split into two divisions, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), a TV network that Harpo owns a 25.5% stake in, and Harpo Print, which is responsible for O, The Oprah Magazine.

As a part of Blackstone Group (an investment group that also includes Natalie Portman, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and Jay-Z’s entertainment company), Oprah is a partial owner of Oatly. The investment group bought a 10% stake in the Swedish oat milk company in July 2020 for $200 million, valuing Oatly at $2 billion.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams
Serena Williams

Net worth: $210 Million

Profession: Tennis player, Athlete

Invested in: Bumble, Daily Harvest, Zipline, Tonal

Serena Williams is a great tennis player and former world number one, but she is an equally successful businesswoman. However, over the years, she has also developed a reputation as a credible investor.

Her investment firm Serena Ventures has invested in over thirty companies that have a focus on underrepresented founders or problems, empowering creativity or empowering oneself, and future technology. 

Some of the investments from Serena Ventures include Daily Harvest, Zipline and Tonal.

The tennis great has also invested in dating app Bumble, partnering up with CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd. This investment became part of Williams’ myriad business portfolio, she invested in Bumble in March 2019 after having first joined the company in their Super Bowl ad in February 2019.

One of the company’s endeavours is about showcasing women who have demonstrated immense courage in their lives. Bumble’s ethos resonates with Serena Ventures, sharing the same desire to show empowerment, especially to women.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry
Katy Perry

Net worth: $330 Million

Profession: Singer

Invested in: Impossible Foods, Appel Sciences

Katy Perry has invested in meat alternatives Impossible Foods, as they continue its onward march toward ubiquity with a new round of funding, raising $300 million in capital. 

That puts the meat-free total equity at $750 million, and its valuation at $2 billion. The company lists Jay Brown, Kirk Cousins, Paul George, JAY-Z, Trevor Noah, Alexis Ohanian, Kal Penn, Katy Perry, Questlove, Ruby Rose, Phil Rosenthal, Jaden Smith, Serena Williams, will.i.am and Zedd as individual investors.

Katy Perry has also successfully secured a personal investment for a Californian startup Appel Sciences, which pioneered a high-tech solution to reducing food waste by making the fruit last two or three times longer. In June 2020, alongside other celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Katy Perry contributed to a $250 million fundraising round, bringing Appel’s valuation to $1 billion.

Rihanna

Rihanna
Rihanna

Net worth: $550 Million

Profession: Singer-songwriter, fashion designer

Invested in: Fenty Beauty, LVMH, Savage x Fenty, TechStyle, Partake Foods

Rihanna has taken a step back from the singing of late and started focusing on investments across different brands and startups. 

Despite her musical success, she’s made the bulk of her fortune from Fenty Beauty, the makeup brand she co-owns with luxury goods group LVMH. She also co-owns Savage X Fenty lingerie line with investors including online fashion firm TechStyle Fashion Group.

Partake Foods became Rihanna’s first investment outside of her own personal ventures. The food company creates delicious cookies that are gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and free of 14 of the most common allergens. 

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba

Net worth: $200 Million

Profession: Actress

Invested in: The Honest Company, Headspace, bumo

In 2012, actress Jessica Alba founded The Honest Company alongside business partner Christopher Gavigan. The Honest Company sells organic and ethically-made personal care products with a mission of creating non-toxic and environmentally friendly household and baby products.

The company provides various eco-friendly baby necessities (such as nappies, soaps, baby powder, lotion, shampoo and vitamins etc). All of the brand’s products are made from 100% organic ingredients and never use preservatives, with all packaging made of recycled glass and biodegradable plastic. Jessica also donates a significant amount of proceeds from The Honest Company to an organisation called Baby2baby.

Jessica Alba has also invested $34.3 million in Headspace, the company develops an online membership platform offering free guided meditation and mindfulness to feel happier, sleep better and combat stress.

Also, she invested $2.4 million in bumo; they provide a combination of daycare and co-working space for professional parents. The company also offers online learning for children aged 3-5.

Madonna

Madonna
Madonna

Net worth: $850 Million

Profession: Singer-songwriter

Invested in: Vita Coco

Vita Coco, the nation’s best-selling coconut water and one of the fastest-growing beverage brands in the U.S secured an investment of $1.5 million from popstar Madonna.

Fresh coconut water, extracted from young green coconuts (not brown ones) has grown increasingly popular as both a lifestyle beverage and a natural sports drink. 

The popular beverage saw more than a boost for the brand’s financial profile, as well as a huge push in terms of publicity after the announcement that Madonna and her business manager, as well as other celebrities, including actors Matthew McConaughey and Demi Moore and rock star Anthony Kiedis would be purchasing what CEO Michael Kirban called roughly 10% of the company.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow

Net worth: $150 Million

Profession: Actress

Invested in: Goop, Cann

Last year, Goop CEO and founder Gwyneth Paltrow became one of the latest Hollywood celebrities investing in the cannabis industry. The actress-turned-wellness guru announced she was backing Cann, a cannabis-infused beverage maker.

Paltrow calls cannabis a “hero ingredient of the future” for wellness and says she was drawn to Cann’s drinks, which are infused with small doses of THC and CBD, as an appealing alternative to alcohol.

CBD is short for cannabidiol, which many say it delivers the calming benefits of marijuana without the high that comes from THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks

Net worth: $90 Million

Profession: Model, TV Personality

Invested in: Tyra Beauty, Bankable, Demand Media, TheSkimm

The supermodel turned entrepreneur and startup investor, Tyra Banks launched Tyra Beauty. Although this wasn’t Ms Banks’ first foray into the startup world. She has invested in companies, particularly women-led startups, through her investment arm Fierce Capital. 

In 2003, Banks established Bankable, the parent company to the Digital, Studios, and Books divisions, creating a multi-faceted company where beauty meets entertainment. 

In 2011, Banks announced an exclusive partnership with Demand Media to launch a highly interactive, beauty-and fashion-focused online platform.

Tyra Banks’ most recent investment was back in 2018, where she invested $12M in TheSkimm – a subscription-only newsletter that is a digest of news stories intended to be simple and easy to read.

Through all her endeavours, Banks remains committed to her personal mission to empower women and expand the definition of beauty.

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra

Net worth: $50 Million

Profession: Actress

Invested in: Anomaly, Apartment List, Bumble, Holberton School

Indian actress, singer, entrepreneur and film producer Priyanka Chopra launched her own hair-care brand, Anomaly, where every bottle is made from post-consumer recycled materials. The hair-care brand consists of a deep conditioning mask, dry shampoo, and three different types of shampoo and conditioner. 

All packaging is made from 100% recycled rubbish, sourced from landfills and oceans, making the range eco and budget-conscious. Subsequently, less money spent on expensive packaging means a lower price point and a more affordable and accessible hair product.

Priyanka has also invested in the US-based rental marketplace Apartment List. The actress had earlier invested in the dating app Bumble and coding education startup Holberton School.

In her latest investment Apartment List, she joins a star-studded board of investors including American singer Lizzo, baseball star Alex Rodriguez or Arod, NBA player Andre Iguodala and others.

Beyonce

Beyonce
Beyonce

Net worth: $500 Million

Profession: Singer-songwriter

Invested in: Dereon Clothing line, Parkwood Entertainment, 22 Day Nutrition, Tidal, Uber

Beyonce Knowles-Carter is a singer, but, also, she is a worldwide brand. You can find her name on fashion brands, cosmetic industries, and Pepsi commercials. Aside from earnings in the music industry, Beyonce definitely understands the importance of diversifying her portfolio.

She has invested in the Dereon Clothing line and other properties. She has acquired endorsement deals from General Mills and L’Oreal DirecTV.

Beyonce owns a strong portfolio of real estate in the US and all over the globe. Most of them she owns in partnership with her husband, Jay-Z. However, she does hold some investments on her own. 

Beyonce started the management company Parkwood Entertainment that has invested $150,000 into Sidestep. It is an app for purchasing concert merchandise. In the beginning, Sidestep was selling t-shirts and posters for Beyonce. After some time, when Beyonce saw its profit and potential, she invested in Sidestep. 

Also, Beyonce supported the start of a vegan food company 22 Day Nutrition. She’s also a stockholder in streaming service Tidal and has shares in Uber.