Born on February 7, 1978 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ashton Kutcher is well-known for his acting exploits but did you know that he is equally renowned for his investments in entrepreneurs. If you don’t, then read on to find how Ashton Kutcher turned $50 million into $250 million by investing in entrepreneurs!
You probably know Ashton Kutcher from ‘That 70’s show’ or ‘Dude, where’s My Car’. If that is the case, then you’d be surprised to know that Kutcher is now an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a successful venture capitalist. Kutcher is now worth an estimated $250 million but how did he get there? Here is his story of success.
Kutcher Started Earning and Saving Young
A major reason that Ashton Kutcher was able to build the wealth he has today is that he started earning and saving young. He did odd jobs such as roofing and mowing lawns to skinning deer at a meat locker. Aged 13, Ashton Kutcher managed to save $1,400 for a snowmobile. For one and half years, he worked after school and on weekends and whatever he earned went into his savings account.
To pay his tuition at University of Iowa where he had planned major in biochemical engineering, Kutcher continued working a variety of jobs but he eventually dropped out to pursue a career in acting and modeling. However, his interest in science and technology resurfaced years later when he started to invest in tech companies. This was the start of his journey towards a $250 million wealth.
Ashton Kutcher: The Tech Investor
A well-known technology investor today, Kutcher is one of the most successful celebrities investing and helping promote Silicon Valley start-ups. Some of his investments include stakes in high-profile companies such as Skype and social ‘check in’ site Foursquare through the venture capital fund A-Grade Investments which he co-founded. Other investments of Kutcher include Airbnb and social magazine concept Flipboard and online textbook rental company Chegg.
From his modeling and acting career, Ashton Kutcher managed to build a $50 million fortune but it was his investments in entrepreneurs that helped him to become a multi-millionaire. Following is how investments in entrepreneurs helped Ashton Kutcher to turn $50 million into a $250 million wealth.
Foursquare and Skype
Kutcher invested as an individual in the social network Foursquare before he co-founded the venture capital firm A-Grade Investments. The investment in Foursquare helped put Ashton Kutcher on the map of the startup scene and in 2009, he invested in Skype. Two years later, Skype was bought by Microsoft, and according to reports, this helped Kutcher triple his wealth.
Through his venture capital firm: A-grade Investments, Ashton Kutcher invested in Airbnb in 2011. An online marketplace that connects travelers seeking accommodation with people renting out their homes, Airbnb is one of world’s leading online marketplace and hospitality service today. In 2011, when Kutcher invested in the startup for the first time, Airbnb had approximately 60,000 listing and claimed that users had booked over a million nights through its service, as it was reported.
Airbnb welcomed Ashton Kutcher to the team in the following words:
“With his incredible wit and personality, Ashton Kutcher has shown the world the power social media has on emerging brands and in developing strong, passionate communities. With Ashton on board, we’ll be working together to take our community engagement to the next level. “
Just three years on, the company had over half a million listings and more than ten million nights booked. This helped Kutcher to further build his wealth.
Another startup that Ashton Kutcher invested in was Spotify—a music, podcast, and video streaming service headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. In an interview with Maria Bartiromo—a CNBC anchor, Kutcher explained the reason behind the success of companies such as Airbnb and Spotify. He had the following to say:
“You have to have the know-how and the moxie to actually put together the pieces and build the solution in a really effective way.”
Kutcher’s investment in Spotify helped the streaming service to establish itself and grow, while allowing the former Hollywood heart throb to increase his wealth.
YPlan—an events app founded in London, was another startup that Ashton Kutcher invested in. Kutcher invested in the app for the first time in 2013. The mobile app allows users find last-minute events happening that evening and allows them to buy tickets through one click. The app, which is very popular in London, has expanded to New York and San Francisco and this has helped Ashton Kutcher to become even richer.
Lessons to Learn from Kutcher’s Investments
There are many lessons to learn from the investments of Ashton Kutcher including listening to and trusting others, investing in things that you know, chasing happiness, and thinking about what you’ll want in the future. Another lesson to learn from Kutcher’s investments is that the best investments don’t cost a fortune.
Investing isn’t all about the numbers. When you learn more about the people behind a company — their motivators, challenges and beliefs — you develop a better sense of that company’s potential. And, this is perfectly illustrated by the following words spoken by Ashton Kutcher himself:
“Investing in relationships can cost as little as a few cups of coffee and a handful of emails.”
Ashton Kutcher is now worth an estimated $250 million. While his modeling and acting career helped in building that wealth, it was his investments in technology and entrepreneurs that helped him to become what he is today: a multi-millionaire. If you are inspired by Ashton Kutcher’s investments and are looking for a startup to invest in, then get in touch with us today!
by Bobby J Davidson
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