Celebrities have influence, and they are able to use that influence to drive good things (and bad things).
Last year, Kim Kardarsian set up SKYY Partners and recently announced that SKYY is looking to raise $1 billion to invest in consumer startups.
At face value, you may ask what does Kim know about consumer startups? However, deeper scrutiny reveals that SKYY intends to invest in consumer startups and leverage Kim’s 600m+ fan base to boost the startup. She is able to use her following to build companies and by extension build wealth.
Snoop Dogg saw the light much earlier when he set up Casa Verde Capital and raised $100m to invest in startups working with cannabis. Like Kim Kardarsian, he was able to leverage his influence to get investors to put money in his fund. Some of the companies Casa Verde invested in have had exit events.
For example, GreenBits, a point-of-sale software (POS) for cannabis sellers was acquired at a valuation of over $200m (Crunchbase data) and Casa Verde enjoyed many multiples on its initial $2m investment.
Serena Williams has also set up her own venture capital firm called Serena Ventures. The list goes on.
In Africa, one of the most successful celebrities on the venture capital landscape is musician, Mr Eazi. (real name Oluwatosin Ajibade). He launched Zagadat Capital in 2021 and raised $20m. According to the GetFundedAfrica investor database, Zagadat Capital invested in tech companies such as remittance-based lending company Paisa, Eden Life, African fintech Pawapay, mediatech Empawa Africa, betpawa, Ruka Hair, Decagon, Apata, Turf, Shoobs, Choplife Limited and South Africa basketball team CapeTown Tigers.
Popular actor and musician, Falz (real name Folarin Falana) invested in Nigerian startup AltSchool, a startup that trains entry and mid-level software engineers.
Burna Boy, Davido and other celebrities need to form structured venture capital firms to leverage their popularity to create wealth for themselves and potential portfolio companies. It helps the portfolio companies to grow, stimulates economies in Africa, and helps grow wealth for themselves and others.
One of the challenges faced by the management teams of many celebrities is where to find startups in Africa. This is where I unashamedly plug-in GetFundedAfrica. We have an app called the investor Finder where startups can sign up to meet investors. Every startup has a ‘investor readiness rating’ and investors can use this to find startups that meet their investment criteria. The team has also started working with the management teams of some popular African celebrities and this is a space that is expected to grow.
So, what’s the lesson for Burna Boy, Davido and other African celebrities? Use your fame for yourself and others, you can make a big difference.
GetFundedAfrica (GFA) is a technology company focused on building cloud-based software apps that solve access problems faced by African businesses, making it easier for them to grow, tell their stories and to get funded.
The GFA Investor Finder is an AI-enabled CRM for fundraising and helps African founders discover, engage and streamline the fundraising process.